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The ACC’s Non-Conference Scheduling for 2019-20

North Carolina’s non-conference slate towers over the ACC’s other 14 offerings.

ACC teams ranked by schedule strength: top row 1-4, row 2 5-8, row 3 9-12, bottom 13-15
Image by Chris Dobbertean using logos from SportsLogos.net, except Wake Forest (GoDeacs.com) and Pittsburgh (PittsburghPanthers.com)

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

ACC Four-Year Ranking

Team 4-Year Ranking 2018-19 Ranking Ranking Change
Team 4-Year Ranking 2018-19 Ranking Ranking Change
Virginia 1 2 1
Duke 3 4 1
North Carolina 4 5 1
Louisville 12 14 2
Florida State 16 26 10
Virginia Tech 19 49 30
Clemson 22 29 7
Syracuse 39 46 7
Miami 44 23 -21
Notre Dame 45 20 -25
NC State 47 59 12
Georgia Tech 97 85 -12
Wake Forest 101 69 -32
Boston College 110 121 11
Pittsburgh 111 109 -2
Average 44.73333333 44.06666667 -0.6666666667
Conference Rank 2nd of 32 (2nd in 2018-19)

Not surprisingly, the defending national champions top both the ACC and national four-year ranking tables. It also isn’t a surprise that two of their rivals join them in the top national four, as Virginia, Duke, and UNC all ranked in the top five last season. However, the bottom of the conference still has work to do if the ACC is to catch up to the top-ranked Big 12. Last season, only two league members—Boston College and Pittsburgh—sat outside of the top 100 nationally. Heading into 2019-20, Wake Forest joined them, with Georgia Tech sitting 97th. Otherwise, more ACC teams rank in the top 50 (11) than the Big 12 has members total (10).

Ranking The Schedules

ACC 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
7 12 North Carolina** 306.5340909
42 32 Duke* 256.4545455
94 270 Georgia Tech** 235.25
95 269 Wake Forest** 234.875
111 148 Florida State* 228.25
113 307 Miami (Fla.)** 228.075
118 121 Syracuse* 226.2159091
158 56 Virginia* 214.5625
160 40 Louisville 213.7045455
182 249 Boston College 203.5113636
212 210 Clemson* 194.225
232 281 NC State 185.6363636
254 305 Pittsburgh* 178.4772727
255 222 Notre Dame 176.2045455
326 343 Virginia Tech** 143.6647727
157.2666667 191 Conference Average 215.0427273
11/32 18/32 Conference Rank

As the ACC heads into its first 20-game conference slate, its non-conference schedules improved on aggregate, but not to the level the Big Ten’s did when making the transition last season (they ranked fourth nationally in 2018-19 and fifth this year). But while the aggregate picture is decent for the ACC, there’s a lack of quality at the top, with just two top 60 schedules, compared to four a season ago. Most of the movement is due to teams upgrading their schedules to “average” from “flat-out bad.”

It feels like many teams decided to slightly upgrade their schedules with the ultimate aim of having the two extra ACC games push them over the NCAA Tournament cut line. While that tactic worked for the Big Ten last season, ACC teams seem to neglect that their challenge partners’ were able to pull that off because its stronger non-conference scheduling provided a solid base for the league’s NET rankings.

ACC 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
21 (23 in 2018-19) 6 (4) 1 (0)
4th of Power 7 4th 4th

Not surprisingly, with fewer non-conference games available, the ACC is playing fewer non-conference road games this season. However, league members increased their total of non-Power 7 away contests. But two of these games get asterisks: North Carolina travels to Spokane to play Gonzaga, not your typical mid-major, while NC State takes on UNCG at the Greensboro Coliseum. While that’s the Spartans’ part-time home floor, it’s also a regular home for the ACC Tournament, including the 2020 edition.

Note that just seven of the 15 ACC teams will play more than one road game, and none of them will play more than two. Then there’s Virginia Tech, which won’t hit the road at all outside of ACC play.

Georgia Tech is one of the six power conference teams to schedule a non-D1 foe, as they’ll host Division II Morehouse in a cross-Atlanta matchup on January 28th.

ACC Non-Conference Games By League

Conference Games Scheduled Against Possible Tournament Games Against
Conference Games Scheduled Against Possible Tournament Games Against
Big Ten 16 3
SEC 10 2
Big South 9 0
SoCon 8 2
MEAC 8 0
Big 12 6 3
Ivy 6 1
NEC 6 0
American Athletic 5 3
C-USA 5 2
MAC 5 2
CAA 5 1
America East 5 0
Horizon 5 0
Patriot 5 0
SWAC 5 0
Pac-12 4 6
A 10 4 3
Atlantic Sun 4 0
MAAC 4 0
Big East 3 5
Southland 3 0
Sun Belt 3 0
MVC 2 1
MW 2 1
OVC 2 0
WAC 2 0
WCC 1 4
Non-D1 1 1
Big Sky 1 0
Big West 0 2
Summit 0 0

No games scheduled or possible against: Summit

The ACC’s challenge partner, the Big Ten, leads the way in terms of the raw number of games scheduled, while the conference many ACC teams share a football rivalry with, the SEC, ranks second. There are no real surprises in terms of the rankings of the leagues below the top two, but several conferences saw their matchup totals drop as a result of the reduction in ACC non-league games. The biggest losers are the Atlantic 10 (dropping to a mere 4 games after 13 a season ago), Big East (4 from 7), and Southland (3 from 10). On the other hand, the Big South and SoCon, two conferences sharing the ACC footprint, held roughly steady.

Detroit Mercy (Horizon) and Alabama A&M (SWAC) are the only two teams that will play three ACC foes during non-conference play. Both will play Clemson, oddly enough. While Georgia Tech takes on three SEC opponents, Virginia will face a trio of America East squads and Virginia Tech lined up a similar total of MEAC foes. That’s a major reason why the Hokies’ schedule rates so poorly nationally.

ACC Non-Conference Games By Quad

Opponent Strength Home Away Neutral Total Average Potential
Opponent Strength Home Away Neutral Total Average Potential
Quad 1 3 12 7 22 1.466666667 13
Quad 2 12 4 7 23 1.533333333 15
Quad 3 14 3 5 22 1.466666667 8
Quad 4 73 2 2 77 5.133333333 5
Non-D1 1 0 0 1 0.06666666667 1
Total 103 21 21 145
Average 6.866666667 1.4 1.4 9.666666667
Percentage 0.7103448276 0.1448275862 0.1448275862
Rank (of 32 Conferences) 1st 30th 9th
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

While ACC teams saw their individual slates decrease in size by two games, the quality of opposition didn’t increase all that significantly. League members still play the majority of their home games against teams likely to find themselves in Quad 4, meaning ACC squads need to step up away from home. As a point of comparison, last season 15 ACC members managed to play 86 total games against Quad 4 opposition during non-league play with a 13-game non-league schedule. This time around, they’ll play 77 with an 11-game slate. That’s not even a decline of one Quad 4 opponent per team.

The ACC 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 (6/15): Clemson (no fourth MTE game), Georgia Tech (didn’t use Hawai’i exemption), Miami (no fourth MTE game), Virginia, Wake Forest (no fourth MTE game)

7. North Carolina Tar Heels

*MTE: Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis

Home Games (5) Neutral-Site Games (4) Road Games (2)
Home Games (5) Neutral-Site Games (4) Road Games (2)
35. Ohio State^ 54. Alabama* 2. Gonzaga
72. Wofford 9. Michigan or 190. UNCW
121. Yale 23. Iowa State*
207. Gardner-Webb 2. Gonzaga/
252. Elon* 203. Southern Mississippi/
^ - B1G Challenge 29. Oregon/
40. Seton Hall*
52. UCLA#
# - Las Vegas

North Carolina Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (5-0)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (5-0)
Nov. 8 190. UNCW UNC 97-69 (H)
Nov. 15 207. Gardner-Webb
Nov. 20 252. Elon Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis UNC 116-67 (@)
Nov. 27 54. Alabama Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis (Paradise Island, Bahamas)
Nov. 28 9. Michigan or 23. Iowa State Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis (Paradise Island, Bahamas) UM 84-67 (H)
Nov. 29 2. Gonzaga/29. Oregon/ 40. Seton Hall/203. Southern Mississippi Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis (Paradise Island, Bahamas) GU: UNC 103-90 (H)
Dec. 4 35. Ohio State Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Dec. 15 72. Wofford UNC 78-67 (@)
Dec. 18 2. Gonzaga UNC 103-90 (H)
Dec 21 52. UCLA CBS Sports Classic (Las Vegas) UNC 94-78 (N)
Dec. 30 121. Yale
62. Alabama
2. Gonzaga
12. Iowa State
8. Michigan
20. Oregon
41. Seton Hall
204. Southern Mississippi

While the Tar Heels’ non-conference schedule ranks 7th nationally, it’s at the very top when looking at only the Power 7. While the four-year rankings flatter some of Carolina’s opponents, for example a UCLA club that had a rough 2018-19 and a Wofford outfit that will be coping with plenty of personnel losses, UNC’s participation in the Battle 4 Atlantis, a Big Ten Challenge contest against Ohio State, visit from undervalued, Ivy-contending Yale, and that game in Spokane against Gonzaga provide real quality.

42. Duke Blue Devils

*MTE: 2K Empire Classic Benefitting Wounded Warrior Project

Home Games (7) Neutral-Site Games (3) Road Games (1)
Home Games (7) Neutral-Site Games (3) Road Games (1)
78. Wofford 10. Kansas# 5. Michigan State^
108. Georgia State* 162. California* ^ - B1G Challenge
150. Winthrop 34. Texas or
161. Colorado State 84. Georgetown*
199. Stephen F. Austin # - New York
221. Brown
290. Central Arkansas*

Duke Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event 2018-19 Meeting (0-1)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event 2018-19 Meeting (0-1)
Nov. 5 10. Kansas Champions Classic (New York)
Nov. 8 161. Colorado State
Nov. 12 290. Central Arkansas 2K Empire Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project
Nov. 15 108. Georgia State 2K Empire Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project
Nov. 21 162. California 2K Empire Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project (New York)
Nov. 22 34. Texas or 84. Georgetown 2K Empire Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project (New York)
Nov. 26 199. Stephen F. Austin
Nov. 29 150. Winthrop
Dec. 3 5. Michigan State Big Ten/ACC Challenge MSU 68-67 (NCAA)
Dec. 19 78. Wofford
Dec. 28 221. Brown

Other than the Blue Devils’ opener in New York against Kansas and trip to preseason No. 1 Michigan State for the Big Ten Challenge, there are a lot of question marks and bad teams on this schedule. While Duke’s second game in the Empire Classic should provide real value, particularly if Georgetown shows continued improvement. Otherwise, there are a whole bunch of teams going through a transition (Georgia State, Wofford, California) or struggling to live up to past glories (Stephen F. Austin, Winthrop, Colorado State).

94. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

*MTE: Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic

Home Games (6) Neutral-Site Games (2-3) Road Games (2-3)
Home Games (6) Neutral-Site Games (2-3) Road Games (2-3)
46. Arkansas 91. Boise State* 8. Kentucky
56. Nebraska^ 17. Houston or 77. Georgia
143. Ball State* 310. Portland* 193. Hawai'i
252. Elon 80. Washington/ (or Washington/
319. Bethune-Cookman 143. Ball State/ Ball State/UTEP)*
(Non-D1) Morehouse 270. UTEP
^- B1G Challenge (or Hawai'i)*

Georgia Tech Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (1-1)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (1-1)
Nov. 11 252. Elon
Nov. 20 77. Georgia UGA 70-59 (H)
Nov. 25 46. Arkansas GIT 69-65 (@)
Dec. 1 319. Bethune-Cookman
Dec. 4 56. Nebraska Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Dec. 14 8. Kentucky
Dec. 18 143. Ball State Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic
Dec. 22 91. Boise State Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu, Hawai'i)
Dec. 23 17. Houston or 310. Portland 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)
Jan. 28 (Non-D1) Morehouse

The Yellow Jackets won’t be participating in this season’s NCAA Tournament, thanks to penalties resulting from major recruiting violations. So, a trip to Honolulu for the Diamond Head Classic over Christmas week and four difficult power-conference matchups, including three against SEC opposition, will have to serve as consolation for Josh Pastner’s squad this season.

95. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

*MTE: Wooden Legacy

Home Games (4) Neutral-Site Games (4) Road Games (2)
Home Games (4) Neutral-Site Games (4) Road Games (2)
31. Xavier 68. Davidson# 48. Penn State^
219. Columbia 106. College of Charleston* 293. Charlotte
279. UNC Asheville 62. Providence or ^ - B1G Challenge
331. North Carolina A&T 200. Long Beach State*
36. Arizona/
71. UCF/
137. Penn/
217. Pepperdine*
# - Charlotte, N.C.

Wake Forest Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event 2018-19 Meeting (3-0)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event 2018-19 Meeting (3-0)
Nov. 10 219. Columbia
Nov. 13 279. UNC Asheville
Nov. 17 293. Charlotte WF 80-56 (H)
Nov. 22 68. Davidson Charlotte, N.C. (Spectrum Center) WF 67-63 (H)
Nov. 28 106. College of Charleston Wooden Legacy (Anaheim, Calif.)
Nov. 29 62. Providence or 200. Long Beach State Wooden Legacy (Anaheim, Calif.)
Dec. 1 36. Arizona/71. UCF 137. Penn/217. Pepperdine Wooden Legacy (Anaheim, Calif.)
Dec. 4 48. Penn State Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Dec. 14 31. Xavier Skip Prosser Classic
Dec. 21 331. North Carolina A&T WF 90-78 (H)

Having followed up 2017’s NCAA bid with a pair of 11-20 campaigns, Danny Manning enters the 2019-20 season on the hot seat. And while there are three winnable home games and a trip to Charlotte to take on a rebuilding 49ers program, there’s potential for a rough start here. Late November through early December shapes up to be particularly difficult for the Demon Deacons (and for many other ACC teams, for the record) because of the combo of exempt event-Big Ten Challenge-second early ACC matchup. The reason Wake might find things more difficult than the rest: those games are bookended by a game against Atlantic 10 contender Davidson in Charlotte and the renewal of the Skip Prosser Classic against Xavier in Winston-Salem.

111. Florida State Seminoles

*MTE: Emerald Coast Classic

Home Games (6) Neutral-Site Games (3) Road Games (2)
Home Games (6) Neutral-Site Games (3) Road Games (2)
215. North Alabama 14. Tennessee* 15. Florida
224. North Florida 7. Purdue or 42. Indiana^
226. Chattanooga* 61. VCU* ^ - B1G Challenge
259. St. Francis (Pa.) 214. South Florida#
304. Western Carolina # - Sunrise, Fla.
349. Chicago State*

Florida State By Date

Date (Rank) Opponent Event 2018-19 Meeting (3-0)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event 2018-19 Meeting (3-0)
Nov. 10 15. Florida FSU 81-60 (@)
Nov. 16 304. Western Carolina
Nov. 20 226. Chattanooga Emerald Coast Classic
Nov. 23 259. St. Francis (Pa.)
Nov. 25 349. Chicago State Emerald Coast Classic
Nov. 29 14. Tennessee Emerald Coast Classic (Niceville, Fla.)
Nov. 30 7. Purdue or 61. VCU* Emerald Coast Classic (Niceville, Fla.) FSU 73-72 (H) (PU)
Dec. 3 42. Indiana Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Dec. 17 224. North Florida FSU 95-81 (H)
Dec. 21 214. South Florida Orange Bowl Classic (Sunrise, Fla.)
Dec. 28 215. North Alabama

I really hope Florida State fans make the trip to Niceville for the Emerald Coast Classic or head to Sunrise the Saturday before Christmas to see the Seminoles take on a South Florida team that should be better than it’s four-year ranking. That’s because FSU fans, particularly those with season tickets, won’t get much value until ACC play begins. Leonard Hamilton’s squad will be sternly tested away from the Tucker Center, however, particularly over Thanksgiving weekend. If the Noles can knock off Tennessee in the semifinals at Northwest Florida State College, they might get a chance to knock off Purdue for the second season in a row (and honestly, a game against A 10 favorite VCU would be nothing to sneeze at either). Plus, FSU starts on the road at archrival Florida, which the Seminoles will look to defeat for the sixth straight time, and heads to Indiana for a tantalizing Big Ten Challenge matchup. But that home slate really drags this schedule down.

113. Miami Hurricanes

*MTE: Charleston Classic

Home Games (4) Neutral-Site Games (4) Road Games (2)
Home Games (4) Neutral-Site Games (4) Road Games (2)
225. Florida Atlantic 88. Temple# 71. UCF
281. Quinnipiac 149. Missouri State* 89. Illinois^
347. Coppin State 15. Florida or ^ - B1G Challenge
351. Alabama A&M 136. Saint Joseph's*
31. Xavier/
55. Buffalo/
104. UConn/
196. Towson*
# - Brooklyn

Miami Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (1-0)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (1-0)
Nov. 8 225. Florida Atlantic UM 75-55 (H)
Nov. 12 71. UCF
Nov. 16 281. Quinnipiac
Nov. 21 149. Missouri State Charleston Classic (Charleston, S.C.)
Nov. 22 15. Florida or 136. Saint Joseph's Charleston Classic (Charleston, S.C.)
Nov. 24 31. Xavier/55. Buffalo/ 104. UConn/196. Towson Charleston Classic (Charleston, S.C.)
Dec. 2 89. Illinois Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Dec. 14 351. Alabama A&M
Dec. 17 88. Temple Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Dec. 21 347. Coppin State

Similar to the case in Tallahassee, Miami fans residing near Coral Gables don’t have much to look forward to over the first two months of the season, though I suppose they could charter some buses and head up to Orlando for the UCF game. Things will have to break right for the Hurricanes to head into conference play with some decent non-league results to hang their hats on, as the Knights and their American rivals from Temple might take a step back this year and Illinois heads into the season as a potential, but not confirmed NCAA threat. Jim Larrañaga’s squad will likely need to top Missouri Valley favorite Missouri State in the quarterfinals in Charleston to have a shot at racking up two or three early quality wins. Otherwise, they’ll have to wait for league play to kick into full gear.

118. Syracuse Orange

*MTE: NIT Season Tip-Off

Home Games (8) Neutral-Site Games (2) Road Games (1)
Home Games (8) Neutral-Site Games (2) Road Games (1)
49. Iowa^ 53. Oklahoma State* 84. Georgetown
115. Bucknell* 48. Penn State or
151. Oakland 63. Ole Miss*
183. Colgate
218. Seattle*
224. North Florida
261. Cornell
285. Niagara
^ - B1G Challenge

Syracuse Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event 2018-19 Meeting (3-0)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event 2018-19 Meeting (3-0)
Nov. 13 183. Colgate SU 77-56
Nov. 16 218. Seattle NIT Season Tip-Off
Nov. 20 261. Cornell SU 63-55
Nov. 23 115. Bucknell NIT Season Tip-Off
Nov. 27 53. Oklahoma State NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Nov. 29 48. Penn State or 63. Ole Miss NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Dec. 3 49. Iowa Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Dec. 14 84. Georgetown SU 72-71
Dec. 18 151. Oakland
Dec. 21 224. North Florida
Dec. 28 285. Niagara

While the Orange only leave the state of New York once during non-conference play (and again, you could level similar criticisms against many of Syracuse’s ACC rivals and other Power 7 teams), there is plenty of intrigue on a slate that has potential to be far better than the four-year rankings indicate. But again, this another mid-tier ACC schedule that will require some things to break right for it positively affect Syracuse’s season. While the NIT Season Tip-Off field doesn’t include any surefire NCAA squads, all three of the Orange’s potential opponents could make the field, as could Big Ten Challenge foe Iowa and ancient rival Georgetown. But Jim Boeheim’s squad could end up playing multiple NCAA qualifiers anyway thanks to the quality of the mid-majors lined up, including defending Patriot champ Colgate; Bucknell, likely the Raiders’ main rival for that title in 2020; Oakland, a threat to claim the Horizon crown; and the North Florida, who will contend in the ASUN.

158. Virginia Cavaliers

*MTE: Air Force Reserve Tip-Off Presented By Citi

Home Games (7) Neutral-Site Games (2) Road Games (1)
Home Games (7) Neutral-Site Games (2) Road Games (1)
58. South Carolina 67. Arizona State or 7. Purdue^
75. Vermont* 92. St. John's* ^ - B1G Challenge
181. Stony Brook 206. UMass*
219. Columbia*
243. James Madison
253. Navy
341. Maine

Virginia Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event 2018-19 Meeting (2-0)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event 2018-19 Meeting (2-0)
Nov. 10 243. James Madison
Nov. 16 219. Columbia Air Force Reserve Hall of Fame Tip-Off
Nov. 19 75. Vermont Air Force Reserve Hall of Fame Tip-Off
Nov. 23 206. UMass Air Force Reserve Hall of Fame Tip-Off (Uncasville, Conn.)
Nov. 24 67. Arizona State or 92. St. John's Air Force Reserve Hall of Fame Tip-Off (Uncasville, Conn.)
Nov. 27 341. Maine
Dec. 4 7. Purdue Big Ten/ACC Challenge UVa 80-75 (OT) (NCAA)
Dec. 18 181. Stony Brook
Dec. 22 58. South Carolina UVa 69-52 (@)
Dec. 29 253. Navy

While the Cavaliers are likely to take a step back after claiming the 2019 NCAA title, this schedule is more than a little disappointing. The highlight is the rematch of the South Regional final against Purdue, this time taking place at Mackey Arena. Otherwise, even a down Virginia squad should be able to take care of business at the Hall of Fame Tip-Off and against a home slate that does feature a pair of potential banana peels in American East heavyweight Vermont and a South Carolina squad that should be better than last season’s version.

160. Louisville Cardinals

*MTE: Global Sports Shootout

Home Games (8) Neutral-Site Games (2) Road Games (1)
Home Games (8) Neutral-Site Games (2) Road Games (1)
9. Michigan^ 11. Texas Tech# 8. Kentucky
135. Akron* 114. Western Kentucky$
175. Indiana State # - New York
194. Miami (Ohio) $ - Nashville, Tenn.
273. Eastern Kentucky
289. NC Central*
308. Youngstown State*
334. USC Upstate*
^ - B1G Challenge

Louisville Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (0-1)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (0-1)
Nov. 10 308. Youngstown State Global Sports Shootout
Nov. 13 175. Indiana State
Nov. 17 289. NC Central Global Sports Shootout
Nov. 20 334. USC Upstate Global Sports Shootout
Nov. 24 135. Akron Global Sports Shootout
Nov. 29 114. Western Kentucky Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tenn.
Dec. 3 9. Michigan Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Dec. 10 11. Texas Tech Jimmy V Classic (New York)
Dec. 14 273. Eastern Kentucky
Dec. 18 194. Miami (Ohio)
Dec. 28 8. Kentucky UK 71-58 (H)

The Cardinals’ schedule should rank higher, thanks to a Big Ten Challenge matchup against Michigan, the annual showdown with Kentucky, and a Jimmy V Classic matchup against NCAA runner-up Texas Tech. But the bulk of Louisville’s home schedule is made up of low-quality opponents Chris Mack’s squad should pummel, with the Cards’ exempt event looking particularly weak.

182. Boston College Eagles

*MTE: Gotham Classic

Home Games (8) Neutral-Site Games (1) Road Games (2)
Home Games (8) Neutral-Site Games (1) Road Games (2)
64. Northwestern^ 162. California# 154. Richmond
69. Belmont* # - San Francisco 214. South Florida
120. DePaul
153. Saint Louis*
184. Eastern Washington*
189. Albany
239. High Point*
337. Central Connecticut State
^ - B1G Challenge

Boston College Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (1-0)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (1-0)
Nov. 10 214. South Florida
Nov. 13 239. High Point Gotham Classic
Nov. 16 69. Belmont Gotham Classic
Nov. 20 184. Eastern Washington Gotham Classic
Nov. 23 120. DePaul BC 65-62 (@)
Nov. 27 153. Saint Louis Gotham Classic
Nov. 30 154. Richmond
Dec. 3 64. Northwestern Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Dec. 10 189. Albany
Dec. 15 337. Central Connecticut State
Dec. 21 162. California Al Attles Classic (San Francisco, Calif.)

After taking a major step back in 2018-19, Jim Christian is another coach firmly on the hot seat, as he heads into his sixth campaign in Chestnut Hill—still looking for a first NCAA bid. While this schedule should provide the Eagles with some early confidence and possibly a gaudy record heading into January, it’s questionable whether many of these games will help Boston College build an at-large profile. Neither of the top-70 opponents, Belmont and Northwestern, are guaranteed to reach those heights this season. And while South Florida should be improved and Saint Louis eager to build off a surprise Atlantic 10 Tournament title, Cal and DePaul are again likely to be among the worst teams the power conferences have to offer.

212. Clemson Tigers

*MTE: MGM Resorts Main Event

Home Games (7) Neutral-Site Games (2) Road Games (1)
Home Games (7) Neutral-Site Games (2) Road Games (1)
58. South Carolina 41. TCU* 66. Minnesota^
121. Yale 74. Colorado or ^ - B1G Challenge
183. Colgate 210. Wyoming*
287. Detroit Mercy*
295. Jacksonville
318. Presbyterian
351. Alabama A&M

Clemson Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (1-1)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (1-1)
Nov. 7 318. Presbyterian
Nov. 10 183. Colgate
Nov. 17 287. Detroit Mercy MGM Resorts Main Event
Nov. 21 351. Alabama A&M
Nov. 24 41. TCU MGM Resorts Main Event (Las Vegas)
Nov. 26 74. Colorado or 210. Wyoming MGM Resorts Main Event (Las Vegas)
Dec. 2 66. Minnesota Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Dec. 15 58. South Carolina
Dec. 20 295. Jacksonville
Dec. 22 121. Yale

Last season, the Tigers followed up an NCAA bid by stumbling a bit out of the gate, going 10-3 in non-league play. And while Brad Brownell’s team did defeat both Lipscomb and South Carolina, early losses against Creighton, Mississippi State, and Nebraska put Clemson in a hole it wasn’t able to escape during ACC play. This schedule offers fewer chances for the Tigers to get off to a good start, with (again) late November to mid-December looking like a crucial stretch. However, the draw for the MGM Resorts Main Event isn’t favorable, while a road game against Minnesota is a very difficult matchup in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. That stretch closes with a home game against in-state rival South Carolina, which follows an ACC road contest against FSU. Clemson will also need to be wary of a non-conference finale against a quality Yale outfit.

232. NC State Wolfpack

*MTE: Barclays Center Classic

Home Games (8) Neutral-Site Games (1) Road Games (2)
Home Games (8) Neutral-Site Games (1) Road Games (2)
20. Wisconsin^ 95. Memphis* 27. Auburn
227. Appalachian State 100. UNCG$
233. Little Rock* $ - Greensboro Coliseum
235. FIU
287. Detroit Mercy
305. The Citadel
320. St. Francis Brooklyn*!
346. Alcorn State*!
^ - B1G Challenge
! - Valvano Arena

NC State Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (1-1)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (1-1)
Nov. 10 287. Detroit Mercy
Nov. 13 235. FIU
Nov. 16 320. St. Francis Brooklyn Barclays Center Classic (James T. Valvano Arena at William Neal Reynolds Coliseum)
Nov. 19 346. Alcorn State Barclays Center Classic (James T. Valvano Arena at William Neal Reynolds Coliseum)
Nov. 23 233. Little Rock Barclays Center Classic
Nov. 28 95. Memphis Barclays Center Classic (Brooklyn)
Dec. 4 20. Wisconsin Big Ten/ACC Challenge UW 79-75 (@)
Dec. 15 100. UNCG Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, N.C.
Dec. 19 27. Auburn NCSU 78-71 (H)
Dec. 22 305. The Citadel
Dec. 29 227. Appalachian State

The Wolfpack were famously left out of the 2019 NCAA field because of a truly-putrid non-conference schedule, which featured a whopping eight teams that ended up ranked outside of KenPom’s top 250. Kevin Keatts’ gambled that the ACC schedule was going to be enough to earn a bid, but it wasn’t, even with a non-conference win over Auburn. Keatts didn’t leave quite so much to chance here, as State visits Auburn this time, hosts the Wisconsin team that knocked the Pack off in Madison last season, and takes on Penny Hardaway’s second Memphis squad in Brooklyn. But there are still seven teams ranked worse than 200th in the four-year ranking on this slate, so NC State may ultimately need to take advantage of the expanded ACC slate to get back in the field of 68.

254. Pittsburgh Panthers

*MTE: Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off

Home Games (8) Neutral-Site Games (2) Road Games (1)
Home Games (8) Neutral-Site Games (2) Road Games (1)
26. West Virginia 25. Kansas State* 280. Robert Morris
122. Rutgers^ 64. Northwestern or
173. Northern Illinois 172. Bradley*
182. Monmouth*
212. Canisius
292. Nicholls State
328. Binghamton
339. Arkansas-Pine Bluff
^ - B1G Challenge

Pittsburgh Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (0-1)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event/Venue 2018-19 Meeting (0-1)
Nov. 9 292. Nicholls State
Nov. 12 280. Robert Morris
Nov. 15 26. West Virginia WVU 69-59 (@)
Nov. 18 182. Monmouth Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off
Nov. 21 339. Arkansas-Pine Bluff Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off
Nov. 25 25. Kansas State Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off (Fort Myers, Fla.)
Nov. 27 64. Northwestern or 172. Bradley Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off (Fort Myers, Fla.)
Dec. 3 122. Rutgers Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Dec. 16 173. Northern Illinois
Dec. 20 328. Binghamton
Dec. 30 212. Canisius

The third game of Jeff Capel III’s second season in charge of the Panthers will see Pitt being good neighbors, as they help Robert Morris open its new arena, helpfully sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh’s Medical Center. That serves as the Panthers’ lone true road game of the non-conference campaign, as they’ll face eight opponents back at the Petersen Center and visit Southwest Florida for a pair of games. Pitt was unfortunate to draw Kansas State in the semifinals of the Fort Myers Tip-Off, when the Panthers should have a shot to defeat either Northwestern or Bradley on night two. Otherwise, the biggest challenges come at home against a West Virginia squad that struggled last season and a Rutgers club that’s a fair matchup for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

255. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

*MTE: Men Against Breast Cancer Invitational

Home Games (9) Neutral-Site Games (1) Road Games (1)
Home Games (9) Neutral-Site Games (1) Road Games (1)
52. UCLA 42. Indiana# 24. Maryland^
94. Toledo* # - Indianapolis ^ - B1G Challenge
139. Marshall*
265. Fairleigh Dickinson
280. Robert Morris*
287. Detroit Mercy
318. Presbyterian
335. Howard*
351. Alabama A&M

Notre Dame Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event 2018-19 Meeting (0-1)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event 2018-19 Meeting (0-1)
Nov. 9 280. Robert Morris Men Against Breast Cancer Invitational
Nov. 12 335. Howard Men Against Breast Cancer Invitational
Nov. 15 139. Marshall Men Against Breast Cancer Invitational
Nov. 18 318. Presbyterian
Nov. 21 94. Toledo Men Against Breast Cancer Invitational
Nov. 26 265. Fairleigh Dickinson
Dec. 4 24. Maryland ACC/Big Ten Challenge
Dec. 10 287. Detroit Mercy
Dec. 14 52. UCLA UCLA 65-62 (@)
Dec. 21 42. Indiana Crossroads Classic (Indianapolis)
Dec. 29 351. Alabama A&M

While the Fighting Irish are projected to be far better than last season’s 14-19 squad, they could run into NC State-like trouble come March, thanks to this home-heavy non-conference schedule. Mike Brey’s squad takes on six teams from outside of the four-year ranking’s top 250, which means Notre Dame had better take advantage of its Big Ten Challenge trip to Maryland, the Crossroads Classic showdown with Indiana, and a visit from UCLA, heading into its first season under Mick Cronin.

326. Virginia Tech Hokies

*MTE: Maui Jim Maui Invitational

Home Games (8) Neutral-Site Games (3)
Home Games (8) Neutral-Site Games (3)
177. Lehigh 5. Michigan State*
207. Gardner-Webb 76. Dayton or
226. Chattanooga 77. Georgia*
321. VMI 10. Kansas/
334. USC Upstate 52. UCLA/
347. Coppin State 70. BYU/
350. Maryland Eastern Shore (Non-D1) Chaminade*
352. Delaware State*

Virginia Tech Chronological

Date (Rank) Opponent Event 2018-19 Meeting (3-0)
Date (Rank) Opponent Event 2018-19 Meeting (3-0)
Nov. 8 347. Coppin State
Nov. 13 334. USC Upstate
Nov. 16 177. Lehigh
Nov. 20 352. Delaware State Maui Jim Maui Invitational
Nov. 25 5. Michigan State Maui Jim Maui Invitational (Lahaina, Hawai'i)
Nov. 26 76. Dayton or 77. Georgia Maui Jim Maui Invitational (Lahaina, Hawai'i)
Nov. 27 10. Kansas/52. UCLA/ 70. BYU/(Non-D1) Chaminade Maui Jim Maui Invitational (Lahaina, Hawai'i)
Dec. 11 226. Chattanooga
Dec. 15 207. Gardner-Webb VT 87-59 (H)
Dec. 21 321. VMI VT 89-68 (H)
Dec. 29 350. Maryland-Eastern Shore VT 85-40 (H)

Mike Young’s first Virginia Tech non-conference schedule isn’t the worst among the power conferences, but it’s close, as both Rutgers and East Carolina managed to do slightly worse. Other than the trip to Maui, there’s nothing terribly exciting here, and to make matters even worse, Tech, admittedly heading into a rebuilding year, misses out on a Big Ten/ACC Challenge game. Still, there are five sub-300 games here, and the three MEAC opponents all rank among the bottom six in all of Division I according to the four-year ranking.

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