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The American Athletic’s Non-Conference Scheduling for 2019-20

Cincinnati and Temple have top 25 non-league schedules heading into the new season. Overall, the conference has stepped up its game, though there are still a few stragglers.

American Athletic teams in order of non-conference schedule rank (1-4 top; 5-8 middle; 9-12 bottom)
Image by Chris Dobbertean using logos from SportsLogos.net and TulaneGreenWave.com (Tulane)

For all of the posts in this series, visit the 2019-20 Non-Conference Scheduling Hub.

Warning: Tables may not appear optimally when viewing on a mobile device.

Ranking The Teams

American Athletic Four-Year Ranking

Team 4-Year Ranking 2018-19 Ranking Ranking Change
Team 4-Year Ranking 2018-19 Ranking Ranking Change
Cincinnati 13 11 -2
Houston 17 41 24
Wichita State 28 12 -16
SMU 57 24 -33
UCF 71 115 44
Temple 88 86 -2
Memphis 95 104 9
UConn 104 92 -12
Tulsa 107 97 -10
South Florida 214 285 71
Tulane 240 194 -46
East Carolina 272 242 -30
Average 108.8333333 108.5833333 -0.25
Conference Rank 7th of 32 (7th in 2018-19)

Once again, the American Athletic ranks last among the seven power conferences (even though I know many of you don’t consider it as such). Incredibly, the conference’s average four-year ranking declined by a nearly infinitesimal amount, 0.25, when compared to last preseason. The reason for this weirdness: an odd mix of adjustments in the individual teams’ rankings. While just four teams saw their four-year rankings jump over the past 12 months, all of them increased by nine or more spots, with South Florida jumping by a whopping 71 places. Meanwhile, eight teams declined, and while SMU, Tulane, and East Carolina each saw drops of 30 places or more, the other five saw their positions fall by more reasonable amounts.

Still, the American now has just two top 25 programs, Cincinnati and Houston, compared with three a season ago, as the Cougars jumped up, while both SMU and Wichita State fell. For the second straight season, the conference has seven top 100 teams, and strangely enough, eight teams in the top 104.

Ranking The Schedules

American Athletic Non-Conference Schedule Ranking

Average Schedule Strength Ranking 2019-20 Average Schedule Strength Ranking 2018-19 Team (* = number of TBD bracketed games) Average Schedule Strength 2019-20
Average Schedule Strength Ranking 2019-20 Average Schedule Strength Ranking 2018-19 Team (* = number of TBD bracketed games) Average Schedule Strength 2019-20
19 188 Cincinnati** 278.0104167
25 46 Temple** 274.1923077
103 191 UConn** 231.6826923
137 353 South Florida** 221.4615385
141 261 UCF** 220.0078125
147 38 Wichita State* 217.4807692
148 313 Houston** 217.2596154
159 94 Memphis 213.8076923
169 179 Tulsa 208.7692308
177 338 SMU 204.625
267 312 Tulane*** 173.2621528
344 351 East Carolina** 118.7019231
153 220.67 Average 214.9384293
10/32 28/32 Conference Average
Conference Rank

While the American boasts just a pair of top 100 schedules heading into 2019-20, compared to three a season ago, the overall quality of the conference’s non-league slates has made a significant jump, from 28th to 10th nationally. The biggest reason for this move are the huge strides taken by the majority of the nine teams who had sub-150 slates a season ago, particularly the five that had sub-300 lineups. Sure, East Carolina owns the worst power 7 non-conference slate and Tulane is still mired at 267th, but the other seven teams at least got themselves into the top 200. Cincinnati was the biggest mover, jumping from 188th in 2018 to 19th this season. On the other hand, Wichita State took a major step back, going from 38th to 147th.

American Athletic Road/Non-D1 Games

True Road Games Scheduled Road Games Scheduled Against Non-Power 7 Teams Non-D1 Opponents Scheduled
True Road Games Scheduled Road Games Scheduled Against Non-Power 7 Teams Non-D1 Opponents Scheduled
26 (19 in 2018-19) 12 (10) 0 (0)
t-1st of Power 7 (SEC) t-1st (Pac-12) t-1st (Pac-12, SEC)

You likely aren’t surprised that the American is tied with the SEC for the highest number of true road games among the power 7 this season and knotted with the Pac-12 for the highest total of non-power road games. However, you should be slightly, as the conference has not led either category in either of the past two seasons. The American also joins the Pac-12 and SEC as being the only power leagues to not schedule a single non-D1 contest (outside of possible tournament matchups).

The biggest difference between the American and the rest of the power conferences is the total number of road games scheduled by individual members. While Tulane, UConn, and Wichita State will each play a single true road game during non-conference play and South Florida has no such contest lined up, Houston, East Carolina, and Temple have three true road games scheduled and Tulsa and SMU went one better. That’s five of 12 members playing a minimum of three road games out of conference, or 41.67%. Of the 75 teams in the more traditional power 6, just nine, or 12%, will hit the road that many times before league play commences.

American Athletic Non-Conference Games By League

Conference Games Scheduled Against Possible Tournament Games Against
Conference Games Scheduled Against Possible Tournament Games Against
SEC 14 2
SWAC 12 0
Southland 11 0
MVC 7 3
Sun Belt 7 1
C-USA 6 5
MEAC 6 1
A 10 5 5
ACC 5 3
MW 5 3
Big 12 5 2
Big East 4 4
CAA 4 3
Big Ten 4 1
America East 4 0
OVC 4 0
Pac-12 3 5
Atlantic Sun 3 2
Horizon 3 1
Ivy 3 1
MAAC 3 1
SoCon 3 0
Summit 3 0
MAC 2 3
WCC 2 1
Big South 2 0
NEC 2 0
Patriot 2 0
WAC 0 3
Big West 0 2
Big Sky 0 0
Non-D1 0 0

No scheduled or possible games against: Big Sky

There’s been a major shift at the top of this table when compared to a season ago. In 2018, the Atlantic 10, C-USA, and MEAC occupied the top three spots. Today, the SEC (thanks in part to the two conferences’ mini-challenge series), SWAC, and Southland are on top. The latter two are problematic due to the low-rankings of their membership as a whole. The conference’s increasing Southern focus, which should only become more pronounced when UConn departs after this season, is evident in the top 10, as seven conferences with heavy presences in the region are present.

Somewhat incredibly, just one team, Jackson State, appears on three American Athletic schedules. Meanwhile, Memphis has three SEC contests lined up, while SMU will face a trio of Southland opponents.

American Athletic Non-Conference Games By Quad

Opponent Strength Home Away Neutral Total Average Potential
Opponent Strength Home Away Neutral Total Average Potential
Quad 1 3 11 8 22 1.833333333 9
Quad 2 8 6 4 18 1.5 11
Quad 3 16 6 5 27 2.25 23
Quad 4 63 3 1 67 5.583333333 9
Non-D1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 90 26 18 134
Average 7.5 2.166666667 1.5 11.16666667
Percentage 0.671641791 0.1940298507 0.1343283582
Rank (of 32 Conferences) 5th 26th 8th
Q1 1-30 1-75 1-50
Q2 31-75 76-135 51-100
Q3 76-160 136-240 101-200
Q4 161-353 241-353 201-353

When compared to last season, American squads reduced the number of Quad 4 games scheduled by a little more than one per team. And with the total number of Quad 1 and 2 matchups increasing by just one, league members clearly focused on increasing the number of contests against Quad 3 opponents. The number of Quad 3 road games alone doubled from three in 2018 to six in 2019. More impressively, the number of Quad 1 road games jumped from seven to 11 this season.

The American By Team

Teams are listed in order of their Average Schedule Ranking. The number in front of an opponent name is its Four-Year Ranking.

Teams that failed to max out their schedules (5/12): Cincinnati (no fourth MTE game), Houston (unused Hawai’i exemption), SMU, Tulane (no fourth MTE game), UCF

19. Cincinnati Bearcats

*MTE: U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam

Home Games (6) Neutral-Site Games (4) Road Games (2)
Home Games (6) Neutral-Site Games (4) Road Games (2)
14. Tennessee 49. Iowa$ 31. Xavier
75. Vermont 130. Illinois State* 35. Ohio State
148. UNLV 114. Western Kentucky or
164. Drake 171. Bowling Green*
183. Colgate 30. Nevada/
351. Alabama A&M 112. Grand Canyon/
144. Valparaiso/
258. Fordham*
$ - Chicago

Cincinnati Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (2-2)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (2-2)
Nov. 6 35. Ohio State OSU 64-56 (H)
Nov. 11 164. Drake
Nov. 14 351. Alabama A&M
Nov. 22 130. Illinois State U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam (St. Thomas, V.I.)
Nov. 23 or 24 114. Western Kentucky or 171. Bowling Green U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam (St. Thomas, V.I.)
Nov. 25 30. Nevada/112. Grand Canyon/ 144. Valparaiso/258. Fordham U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam (St. Thomas, V.I.)
Nov. 30 148. UNLV UC 65-61 (@)
Dec. 3 75. Vermont
Dec. 7 31. Xavier UC 62-47 (H)
Dec. 14 183. Colgate
Dec. 18 19. Tennessee
Dec. 21 49. Iowa Chicago Legends (Chicago) UI 79-72 (NCAA)

John Brannen’s first Bearcat non-conference schedule is a major step up from Mick Cronin’s last effort, as there’s just one set game against a sub-200 team. The Paradise Jam isn’t the most loaded exempt tournament this season, so Cincinnati should be able to bring three wins and the trophy back from St. Thomas. Instead, the real attractions here are at the beginning, as Cincy opens at Ohio State, and end, as a half-dozen tricky contests await the Bearcats upon their return from the Caribbean. Brannen’s club plays four 2019 NCAA Tournament qualifiers in that span, along with archrival Xavier. The capper: a December 21st NCAA First Round rematch with the Iowa team that knocked the Bearcats out of the postseason. Amazingly, Cincinnati will play the other two teams that featured in that Columbus pod, Tennessee and Colgate, at home in the week before that rematch!

25. Temple Owls

*MTE: Orlando Invitational

Home Games (6) Neutral-Site Games (4) Road Games (3)
Home Games (6) Neutral-Site Games (4) Road Games (3)
6. Villanova 24. Maryland* 59. USC*
82. Missouri 51. Texas A&M or 137. Penn
136. Saint Joseph's 126. Harvard* 186. La Salle
185. Rider 33. Marquette/
267. Drexel 59. USC/
333. Morgan State 68. Davidson/
254. Fairfield*
44. Miami (Fla.)$
$ - Brooklyn, N.Y.

Temple Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event 2018-19 Meeting (4-2)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event 2018-19 Meeting (4-2)
Nov. 5 267. Drexel TU 82-64 (N)
Nov. 9 333. Morgan State
Nov. 16 186. La Salle Philadelphia Big 5 TU 75-67 (H)
Nov. 22 59. USC Orlando Invitational
Nov. 28 24. Maryland Orlando Invitational (Bay Lake, Fla.)
Nov. 29 51. Texas A&M or 126. Harvard Orlando Invitational (Bay Lake, Fla.)
Dec. 1 33. Marquette/59. USC 68. Davidson/254. Fairfield Orlando Invitational (Bay Lake, Fla.)
Dec. 7 82. Missouri TU 79-77 (@)
Dec. 10 136. Saint Joseph's Philadelphia Big 5 TU 77-70 (@)
Dec. 17 44. Miami (Fla.) Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Dec. 21 185. Rider
Jan. 25 137. Penn Philadelphia Big 5 UP 77-70 (H)
Feb. 16 10. Villanova Philadelphia Big 5 VU 69-59 (@)

Aaron McKie takes the reins in Philadelphia after Fran Dunphy’s retirement and the Owls’ 2019 loss in the First Four. One thing hasn’t changed with the transfer of coaching duties, however, and that’s Temple’s non-conference scheduling. Naturally, the strength of the Philadelphia Big 5, led by Villanova and surprise 2019 champ Penn, helps boost this slate. But so does the Orlando Invitational field, where the Owls will open with Maryland and could face Ivy favorite Harvard on Black Friday (if their results match), with three decent non-conference win possibilities lurking on day three. Plus, there’s a game in Brooklyn against a Miami squad who will have to be better than they were last year, a long trip to USC in an Orlando Invitational non-bracketed game, and an interesting visit from Missouri after the Owls’ Thanksgiving in Florida.

103. UConn Huskies

*MTE: Charleston Classic

Home Games (8) Neutral-Site Games (4) Road Games (1)
Home Games (8) Neutral-Site Games (4) Road Games (1)
15. Florida 42. Indiana# 6. Villanova!
136. Saint Joseph's* 55. Buffalo* ! - Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
146. Iona 31. Xavier or
230. NJIT$ 196. Towson*
248. Saint Peter's$ 15. Florida/
294. Sacred Heart 44. Miami (Fla.)/
317. New Hampshire$ 136. Saint Joseph's/
341. Maine$ 149. Missouri State*
$ - Hartford, Conn. # - New York

UConn Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (1-1)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (1-1)
Nov. 8 294. Sacred Heart
Nov. 13 136. Saint Joseph's Charleston Classic
Nov. 17 15. Florida
Nov. 21 55. Buffalo Charleston Classic (Charleston, S.C.)
Nov. 22 31. Xavier or 196. Towson Charleston Classic (Charleston, S.C.)
Nov. 24 15. Florida/44. Miami (Fla.)/ 136. Saint Joseph's/ 149. Missouri State Charleston Classic (Charleston, S.C.)
Dec. 1 341. Maine XL Center, Hartford
Dec. 4 146. Iona
Dec. 10 42. Indiana Jimmy V Classic (New York)
Dec. 18 248. Saint Peter's XL Center, Hartford
Dec. 22 317. New Hampshire XL Center, Hartford UC 91-66 (H)
Dec. 29 230. NJIT XL Center, Hartford
Jan. 18 6. Villanova Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia VU 81-58 (N)

Thanks to three consecutive sub-.500 seasons, the Huskies have slipped out of the four-year ranking’s top 100. Dan Hurley’s second UConn schedule ranks 103rd nationally, just one spot away from their current four-year ranking of 104th. And while there are many good things to note on this slate, particularly the Charleston Classic, visits from Florida (a potential third day opponent in Charleston) and an Iona squad that struggled to get games this fall, the Jimmy V Classic matchup with Indiana, and the matchup with former and future Big East rival Villanova in mid-January, the five sub-200 home games really deflate this schedule. But considering the need to show improvement, it will probably meet Hurley’s needs.

137. South Florida Bulls

*MTE: Cayman Islands Classic

Home Games (8) Neutral-Site Games (5)
Home Games (8) Neutral-Site Games (5)
78. Wofford 16. Florida State$
85. Furman 86. Utah State#
110. Boston College 93. Loyola Chicago*
225. Florida Atlantic 60. New Mexico State*
229. IUPUI* 161. Colorado State*
267. Drexel 56. Nebraska/
277. Dartmouth 96. Old Dominion/
339. Arkansas-Pine Bluff 166. George Mason/
192. Washington State*
$ - Sunrise, Fla.
# - Houston

South Florida Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (0-0)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (0-0)
Nov. 5 339. Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Nov. 10 110. Boston College
Nov. 13 229. IUPUI Cayman Islands Classic
Nov. 21 78. Wofford
Nov. 25 93. Loyola Chicago Cayman Islands Classic (George Town, Cayman Islands)
Nov. 26 60. New Mexico State or 161. Colorado State Cayman Islands Classic (George Town, Cayman Islands)
Nov. 27 56. Nebraska/96. Old Dominion/ 166. George Mason/ 192. Washington State Cayman Islands Classic (George Town, Cayman Islands)
Dec. 2 85. Furman
Dec. 6 277. Dartmouth
Dec. 15 267. Drexel
Dec. 18 86. Utah State The Battleground 2K19 (Houston, Texas)
Dec. 21 16. Florida State Orange Bowl Classic (Sunrise, Fla.)
Dec. 29 225. Florida Atlantic

Even though the Bulls won’t play a single true road game this season, Brian Gregory’s third USF schedule is light years ahead of his first two. And that’s not surprising considering the Bulls are coming off a 24-win campaign that ended with a CBI crown. South Florida will be catching a few teams (Wofford and Furman) while they might be in rebuild mode and others (Utah State) on the upswing. The Cayman Islands Classic field features many mysterious teams, with the Bulls’ quarterfinal opponent, Loyola Chicago, among them, so South Florida will have to be prepared for a variety of outcomes in the Caribbean. Note that the most exciting game for USF fans is likely to be the encounter with Florida State at the Orange Bowl Classic a few days before Christmas.

141. UCF Knights

*MTE: Wooden Legacy

Home Games (7) Neutral-Site Games (3) Road Games (2)
Home Games (7) Neutral-Site Games (3) Road Games (2)
44. Miami (Fla.) 137. Penn* 37. Oklahoma
106. College of Charleston* 36. Arizona or 130. Illinois State
216. Green Bay 217. Pepperdine*
230. NJIT 62. Providence/
283. Prairie View A&M 101. Wake Forest/
294. Sacred Heart 106. College of Charleston/
319. Bethune-Cookman 200. Long Beach State*

UCF Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (1-0)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (1-0)
Nov. 9 283. Prairie View A&M
Nov. 12 44. Miami (Fla.)
Nov. 17 130. Illinois State UCF 77-56 (H)
Nov. 23 106. College of Charleston Wooden Legacy
Nov. 28 137. Penn Wooden Legacy (Anaheim, Calif.)
Nov. 29 36. Arizona or 217. Pepperdine Wooden Legacy (Anaheim, Calif.)
Dec. 1 62. Providence/101. Wake Forest/ 106. College of Charleston/ 200. Long Beach State Wooden Legacy (Anaheim, Calif.)
Dec. 7 230. NJIT
Dec. 10 216. Green Bay
Dec. 15 294. Sacred Heart
Dec. 18 319. Bethune-Cookman
Dec. 21 37. Oklahoma

How will the Knights follow up a 2018-19 campaign that ended in heartbreak against Duke in the NCAA Tournament’s Second Round? There will be some reloading following the graduation of BJ Taylor and Tacko Fall, and a schedule that features eight home games, with six of those matchups featuring sub-200 foes, reflects that. However, November and December won’t be a breeze for UCF. After opening with Prairie View A&M, the Knights face six difficult matchups—home contests against Miami and College of Charleston, along with a trip to Illinois State and three games in Anaheim for the Wooden Legacy. The quarterfinal opponent there is a Penn squad that shocked the Knights in Orlando back in December 2016. And while four likely home wins await UCF upon their return home, Dawkins’ club wraps up non-league play with a tough game at Oklahoma.

147. Wichita State Shockers

*MTE: Cancun Challenge

Home Games (10) Neutral-Site Games (2) Road Games (1)
Home Games (10) Neutral-Site Games (2) Road Games (1)
37. Oklahoma$ 58. South Carolina* 53. Oklahoma State
61. VCU 26. West Virginia or
63. Ole Miss# 140. Northern Iowa*
198. Omaha
207. Gardner-Webb*
222. Texas Southern
237. Abilene Christian
262. Oral Roberts
282. UT Martin*
290. Central Arkansas
$ - InTrust Bank Arena
# - SEC Alliance

Wichita State Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event 2018-19 Meeting (1-2)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event 2018-19 Meeting (1-2)
Nov. 5 198. Omaha
Nov. 9 222. Texas Southern
Nov. 16 282. UT Martin Cancun Challenge
Nov. 19 207. Gardner-Webb Cancun Challenge
Nov. 23 262. Oral Roberts WSU 84-63 (H)
Nov. 26 58. South Carolina Cancun Challenge (Cancun, Mexico)
Nov. 27 26. West Virginia or 140. Northern Iowa Cancun Challenge (Cancun, Mexico)
Dec. 5 290. Central Arkansas
Dec. 8 53. Oklahoma State
Dec. 14 37. Oklahoma InTrust Bank Arena OU 80-48 (N)
Dec. 21 61. VCU VCU 70-54 (@)
Dec. 29 237. Abilene Christian
Jan. 4 63. Ole Miss SEC/American Alliance

The Sooners also feature on the Shockers’ schedule, as they’ll serve as the opposition for Wichita State’s annual InTrust Bank Arena matchup. Last season, Gregg Marshall’s team was hammered by OU in Oklahoma City, part of a poor 7-5 start that led many to think the Shockers would miss the postseason. But Wichita State rallied in conference play and reached the NIT semifinals when all was said and done. As a result, expectations are again high for WSU heading into 2020. Even though eight weak home games weigh this slate down, there are still plenty of interesting matchups. For starters, the Shockers will have to like their chances in Cancun, as none of the other three host teams look to be too frightening. And when December rolls around, Wichita State gets a pair of games against Big 12 foes, along with an old-fashioned BracketBusters reunion with Atlantic 10 favorite VCU, and an SEC/American Alliance matchup with an Ole Miss team that joined the Rams in last season’s NCAAs.

148. Houston Cougars

*MTE: Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic

Home Games (7) Neutral-Site Games (2-3) Road Games (3-4)
Home Games (7) Neutral-Site Games (2-3) Road Games (3-4)
53. Oklahoma State 310. Portland* 29. Oregon
70. BYU 91. Boise State or 58. South Carolina#
118. UT Arlington 97. Georgia Tech* 264. Rice
163. Texas State 80. Washington/ 193. Hawai'i
270. UTEP* 143. Ball State/ (or Washington/
309. Houston Baptist 270. UTEP Ball State/UTEP)*
340. Alabama State (or Hawai'i)* # - SEC Alliance

Houston Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (4-0)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (4-0)
Nov. 12 340. Alabama State
Nov. 15 70. BYU UH 76-62 (@)
Nov. 19 264. Rice UH 79-68 (H)
Nov. 22 29. Oregon UH 65-61 (H)
Nov. 26 309. Houston Baptist
Dec. 4 163. Texas State
Dec. 8 58. South Carolina SEC/American Alliance
Dec. 11 118. UT Arlington
Dec. 15 53. Oklahoma State UH 63-53 (@)
Dec. 19 270. UTEP Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic
Dec. 22 310. Portland Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu, Hawai'i)
Dec. 23 91. Boise State or 97. Georgia Tech Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu, Hawai'i)
Dec. 25 80. Washington/143. Ball State/ 193. Hawai'i/270. UTEP Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu, Hawai'i)

The Cougars will look to build on a 2018-19 season that ended with 33 victories and a Sweet Sixteen trip. Even though Kelvin Sampson’s team will play a trio of sub-300 teams, including Portland in the Diamond Head Classic quarterfinals, they’ll also encounter a handful of NCAA hopefuls (Oregon and South Carolina on the road, BYU and Oklahoma State at home). Houston will also play UTEP in a Diamond Head Classic fourth game that was a late addition. And while that matchup might not seem like much due to the Miners’ four-year ranking of 270, UTEP did defeat NCAA runner-up Texas Tech 70-60 in a charity exhibition on October 12th.

159. Memphis Tigers

*MTE: Barclays Center Classic

Home Games (9) Neutral-Site Games (2) Road Games (2)
Home Games (9) Neutral-Site Games (2) Road Games (2)
63. Ole Miss 29. Oregon$ 14. Tennessee
77. Georgia# 47. NC State* 133. UAB
172. Bradley $ - Portland, Ore.
232. UIC*
233. Little Rock*
266. New Orleans
332. Jackson State
343. South Carolina State
346. Alcorn State*
# - SEC Alliance

Memphis Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (2-1)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (2-1)
Nov. 5 343. South Carolina State
Nov. 8 232. UIC Barclays Center Classic (waiver)
Nov. 12 29. Oregon
Nov. 16 346. Alcorn State Barclays Center Classic
Nov. 20 233. Little Rock Barclays Center Classic UM 99-89 (H)
Nov. 23 63. Ole Miss
Nov. 28 47. NC State Barclays Center Classic (Brooklyn)
Dec. 3 172. Bradley
Dec. 7 133. UAB UM 94-76 (H)
Dec. 14 14. Tennessee UT 102-92 (H)
Dec. 21 332. Jackson State
Dec. 28 266. New Orleans
Jan. 4 77. Georgia SEC/American Alliance

Penny Hardaway’s second Tiger team heads into the season with high expectations following 2019’s 22-14 finish and NIT trip. Memphis should be able to rack up many wins in its nine non-conference home games, as the biggest challenges are likely to come from Ole Miss, Georgia, and MVC champ Bradley, with the six sub-200 foes not likely to put up much resistance. It’s the four dates away from FedEx Forum that keep this slate from sliding too far down the charts, particularly the in-state road trip to Tennessee and the quasi-road game against Oregon in Portland. The Barclays Center Classic showcase game against NC State will be an interesting Thanksgiving eve matchup of two teams who are hoping for better Selection Committee luck this March.

169. Tulsa Golden Hurricane

*MTE: Vanderbilt Invitational

Home Games (9) Road Games (4)
Home Games (9) Road Games (4)
91. Boise State 25. Kansas State
161. Colorado State$ 46. Arkansas
180. Austin Peay* 87. Vanderbilt*
236. Southeastern Louisiana* 118. UT Arlington
246. Arkansas State
262. Oral Roberts
309. Houston Baptist
339. Arkansas-Pine Bluff
343. South Carolina State*
$ - BOK Center, Tulsa

Tulsa Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (4-0)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (4-0)
Nov. 5 309. Houston Baptist
Nov. 9 118. UT Arlington TU 72-58 (H)
Nov. 12 262. Oral Roberts TU 69-59 (H)
Nov. 16 180. Austin Peay Vanderbilt Invitational
Nov. 20 236. Southeastern Louisiana Vanderbilt Invitational
Nov. 27 343. South Carolina State Vanderbilt Invitational TU 74-52 (H)
Nov. 30 87. Vanderbilt Vanderbilt Invitational
Dec. 4 339. Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Dec. 7 246. Arkansas State
Dec. 10 91. Boise State
Dec. 14 46. Arkansas
Dec. 21 161. Colorado State BOK Center, Tulsa
Dec. 29 25. Kansas State TU 47-46 (H)

Even though the Golden Hurricane have finished with a winning record in each of the last two seasons, they last played in the postseason in 2016, the year of their shocking NCAA Tournament invite. And while Tulsa managed to win 10 non-conference games a season ago, highlighted by a home win over Kansas State, a losing American mark kept them out of the NIT. This season’s slate could result in the Golden Hurricane either matching or exceeding last season’s non-league win total, even with three power conference road trips. That’s because both Arkansas and Vanderbilt have new coaches this season—with the latter coming off a winless SEC campaign. If 10 or more non-conference wins do come to pass, Frank Haith’s team will then just have to transfer those performances to league play to break their postseason-less streak.

177. SMU Mustangs

*MTE: Southwestern Showdown Presented By Engage Telehealth

Home Games (8) Road Games (4)
Home Games (8) Road Games (4)
84. Georgetown 77. Georgia
108. Georgia State 87. Vanderbilt#
142. Jacksonville State 148. UNLV*
237. Abilene Christian* 159. Evansville
266. New Orleans # - SEC Alliance
269. Hartford*
332. Jackson State*
342. Northwestern State

SMU Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (2-0)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (2-0)
Nov. 5 142. Jacksonville State
Nov. 12 266. New Orleans
Nov. 16 332. Jackson State Southwestern Showdown Presented by Engage Telehealth
Nov. 18 159. Evansville
Nov. 23 148. UNLV Southwestern Showdown Presented by Engage Telehealth
Nov. 27 269. Hartford Southwestern Showdown Presented by Engage Telehealth
Nov. 29 237. Abilene Christian Southwestern Showdown Presented by Engage Telehealth
Dec. 3 342. Northwestern State SMU 69-58 (H)
Dec. 7 84. Georgetown SMU 81-73 (@)
Dec. 20 77. Georgia
Dec. 23 108. Georgia State
Jan. 4 87. Vanderbilt SEC/American Alliance

Since winning 30 games in the 2016-17 season, the Mustangs have won just 32 total. Tim Jankovich’s squad should be able to meet or exceed last season’s non-conference win total of eight with this backloaded slate. Sure, an Opening Night visit from OVC contender Jacksonville State won’t be easy, neither win road games against Evansville and UNLV. However, the Mustangs won’t take on a power conference team until a rematch with Georgetown on December 7th, and SMU should write off neither that game, nor ones with Georgia and Vanderbilt.

267. Tulane Green Wave

*MTE: Myrtle Beach Invitational

Home Games (5) Neutral-Site Games (5-6) Road Games (1-2)
Home Games (5) Neutral-Site Games (5-6) Road Games (1-2)
236. Southeastern Louisiana 43. Mississippi State* 203. Southern Mississippi
320. Southern 135. Akron# 179. Coastal Carolina
332. Jackson State 153. Saint Louis$ (or Baylor/Utah/
342. Northwestern State 6. Villanova or Ohio)*
346. Alcorn State 113. Middle Tennessee*
21. Baylor/
65. Utah/
158. Ohio
(or Coastal Carolina)*
134. Liberty or
196. Towson
# - Washington, D.C.
$ - Phoenix, Ariz.

Tulane Chronological

Home Games (5) Neutral-Site Games (5-6) Road Games (1-2)
Home Games (5) Neutral-Site Games (5-6) Road Games (1-2)
236. Southeastern Louisiana 43. Mississippi State* 203. Southern Mississippi
320. Southern 135. Akron# 179. Coastal Carolina
332. Jackson State 153. Saint Louis$ (or Baylor/Utah/
342. Northwestern State 6. Villanova or Ohio)*
346. Alcorn State 113. Middle Tennessee*
21. Baylor/
65. Utah/
158. Ohio
(or Coastal Carolina)*
134. Liberty or
196. Towson
# - Washington, D.C.
$ - Phoenix, Ariz.

Georgia State, fresh off two straight NCAA bids, also factors into SMU’s December stretch. But the Panthers will have a new coach, as Ron Hunter is now in charge in New Orleans, having replaced Mike Dunleavy after a trio of sub-.500 seasons. Even with the Green Wave playing in two tournaments this season, the Myrtle Beach Invitational and December’s Battle for the Capital in D.C., this schedule looks like one put together by the first-year coach of a team that’s won an average of eight games over the past three seasons. Note the unexpected non-conference game against defending A 10 Tournament champion Saint Louis as part of the Jerry Colangelo Classic in Phoenix.

344. East Carolina Pirates

*MTE: Islands of the Bahamas Showcase

Home Games (7) Neutral-Site Games (3) Road Games (3)
Home Games (7) Neutral-Site Games (3) Road Games (3)
134. Liberty* 159. Evansville* 227. Appalachian State
242. Campbell 202. George Washington or 243. James Madison
273. Eastern Kentucky 260. Kansas City* 253. Navy#
293. Charlotte 134. Liberty/ # - Veterans Classic
321. VMI 255. Milwaukee/
347. Coppin State 264. Rice/
350. Maryland Eastern Shore 333. Morgan State*

East Carolina Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (2-2)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (2-2)
Nov. 5 321. VMI
Nov. 8 253. Navy Veterans Classic
Nov. 12 227. Appalachian State ECU 83-71 (H)
Nov. 16 134. Liberty Islands of the Bahamas Showcase
Nov. 22 159. Evansville Islands of the Bahamas Showcase (Nassau, The Bahamas)
Nov. 23 202. George Washington or 260. Kansas City Islands of the Bahamas Showcase (Nassau, The Bahamas)
Nov. 24 134. Liberty/255. Milwaukee/ 264. Rice/333. Morgan State Islands of the Bahamas Showcase (Nassau, The Bahamas)
Nov. 30 243. James Madison JMU 73-72 (H)
Dec. 3 347. Coppin State
Dec. 14 242. Campbell
Dec. 17 350. Maryland-Eastern Shore ECU 70-47 (H)
Dec. 22 293. Charlotte UNCC 55-49 (@)
Dec. 28 273. Eastern Kentucky

Joe Dooley’s first Pirates team, since his first stint ended in 1999 anyway, won just 10 games, with seven of those victories coming in non-league play. And with just two teams in the top 200 on this schedule, East Carolina should be able to meet that win total, even with three games in the Bahamas and a trio of true road contests against mid-major opposition. With so many sub-200 teams on this schedule, it’s no surprise that the Pirates’ slate ranks as the very worst when looking at just the power 7 conferences and as a bottom 10 schedule overall.

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