Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
Blog Entry

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

Posted on: June 28, 2011 9:59 am
Edited on: June 28, 2011 2:06 pm
 

By Jeff Goodman

I’ve gone ahead and made your life easy, compiling the ultimate checklist of the top non-conference games of the 2011-12 college basketball campaign.

Print this out and keep it around because you won’t want to miss any of these:

TOP 20 NON-CONFERENCE GAMES


1) North Carolina at Kentucky, Dec. 3 -- Nearly everyone will have these two teams at No. 1 and No. 2 in the nation entering the season. Rematch of last year’s Elite Eight contest.

2) Louisville at Kentucky, Dec. 31 -- There’s nothing like a New Year’s Eve tilt between these two rivals. The fan bases despise one another -- and there’s no shortage of disdain between the coaches, either.

3) North Carolina vs. Michigan State, Nov. 11 -- This game will take place in San Diego on an aircraft carrier, maybe even the same one that buried Bin Laden.

4) Duke at Ohio State, Nov. 29 -- This is the top matchup in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. It’ll be interesting to see if the Blue Devils have an answer for Jared Sullinger.

5) Kansas vs. Kentucky, Nov. 15 -- This game is part of the Champions Classic -- a three-year round-robin involving these two programs -- as well as Michigan State and Duke. It’ll take place at Madison Square Garden this year.

6) Vanderbilt at Louisville, Dec. 2 -- Vandy has everyone back, and this is Kevin Stallings’ best chance to contend for a Final Four. Rick Pitino’s team has a blend of experience and talented young freshmen.

7) Memphis at Louisville, Dec. 17 -- The former C-USA rivalry has been renewed, and the timing is ideal – as both programs have no shortage of talent.

8) Florida at Ohio State, Nov. 15 -- It’ll be overshadowed by the Champions Classic, but this is one of the best early games of the year. The Gators are loaded on the perimeter; the Buckeyes just remain loaded.

9) Duke vs. Michigan State, Nov. 15 -- This is the undercard in New York at the Champions Classic, and it involves arguably the two best active coaches in the game: Mike Krzyzewski and Tom Izzo.

10) Florida at Syracuse, Dec. 2 -- Billy Donovan has stepped up his schedule and will travel to the Carrier Dome, where Jim Boeheim has had pretty good success over the years.

11) Xavier at Memphis, Feb. 4 -- Two of the elite non-Power Six programs square off with two of the rising, young coaches in the game: Xavier’s Chris Mack and Memphis’ Josh Pastner.

12) Ohio State at Kansas, Dec. 10 -- The Buckeyes travel to Phog Allen and face a Jayhawks team that many figure to be down.

13) Wisconsin at North Carolina, Nov. 30 -- This is another intriguing ACC-Big Ten matchup that involves two of the elite veteran coaches, Bo Ryan and Roy Williams. It’ll also feature two of the top point guards, Jordan Taylor and Kendall Marshall.

14) Gonzaga at Xavier, Dec. 31 -- Here’s another terrific New Year’s Eve contest, this one involving a pair of the top non-Power Six programs.

15) Cincinnati at Xavier, Dec. 10 -- This probably should be even higher with both teams ranked, the proximity and the hatred between fan bases and coaches.

16) Texas A&M at Florida, Dec. 17 -- Maybe I’m nuts, but I’ve got the Aggies -- despite a coaching change -- as a legitimate Top 15 club. Texas A&M will face another Top 15 team: Florida, in Sunrise at the Orange Bowl Classic.

17) Marquette at Wisconsin, Dec. 3 -- Another big-time, in-state rivalry with both programs likely being in the Top 25 this season.

18) Xavier at Vanderbilt, Nov. 28 -- This could be a matchup of Top 10 teams. Xavier is led by Tu Holloway while Vandy has a strong trio of John Jenkins, Jeff Taylor and Festus Ezeli.

19) Florida State at Florida, Dec. 20 -- It’s a familiar theme among the top non-league games. A pair of Top 25 teams close in proximity that don’t care much for one another.

20) Butler at Indiana, Nov. 27 -- Hoosiers coach Tom Crean will have some pressure this year -- and if he doesn’t win, many feel as though the guy on the other sideline, Brad Stevens, will eventually take his job.

Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Oct 26, 2011
Posted on: October 26, 2011 7:00 pm
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

It's great to see both UofL and uk with 3 each in the top 10. It's even more impressive for UofL since they don't have the $EZ schedule to fall beack on.



Since: Feb 9, 2009
Posted on: July 2, 2011 3:19 pm
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

Surely nobody will want to watch Washington vs Duke or Washington vs Marquette in Madison Square Garden either...



Since: Jan 22, 2008
Posted on: June 30, 2011 6:46 am
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

As a long-time Tiger fan, I agree this game needs to be played every year.  This rivalry goes way back to Bartow and Finch.  Can you imagine the bragging and jabs that will fill the message boards?  I have wonderful memories of games played.  Since both teams appear to have great talent, this one should be fun. 



Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: June 29, 2011 9:49 pm
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

Wow out of the top five games Kentucky is in 3 of them that is interesting.Must have something to do with quality and championship caliber competition. I sense a national championship . Haters go to hell and suck a big one!!!



Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: June 29, 2011 6:05 pm
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

You left off Texas/UNC game that is to be played 1 week before Christmas.  The date hasn't been set but both schools have set a home and home series for 2011 and 2012.   Unlike the team just down the road, UNC continues to schedule Top 20 talent in their non-confernce schedule.  UNC is playing SEC best team, Big 10's 2nd and 3rd best teams and the 2nd best team last year in the Big 12.

Wow!!  Not many schools play the schedule that UNC does.  Royz boyz will play anywhere, anytime.  Gotta respect that!!




Since: Jun 29, 2011
Posted on: June 29, 2011 5:16 pm
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

Let's see, 1959, 1971, 1975, 1982, 2005 Final Fours


1980 & 1986 National Champions.


These were not vacated, either, that is, John Calipari was not our coach.  So they still stand.


And people wonder why the pUKe fanbase is so hated.     
;   



Since: Jun 13, 2011
Posted on: June 29, 2011 4:41 pm
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

I LOVE UK BASKETBALL BUT TO SAY THAT UL IS THERE ONLY BECAUSE OF ITS JEALOUS OF UK YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING. LOUISVILLE HAS PLENTY OF TRADITION AND HISTORY AND ALTHOUGH I DONT CARE A GREAT DEAL FOR UL I CAN GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE.



Since: Jun 13, 2011
Posted on: June 29, 2011 4:35 pm
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

WHEN SOMEONE ATTACKS PITINO LIKE THE GUY AND THE PROSTITUTE COMMENT IT MAKES ME THINK OF THE POLITICAL ARENA IN OUR COUNTRY. WHEN YOUR OUT OF AMMUNITION YOU ARE THROWING AT HIM YOU MAKE IT UP. CRITIZE ALL YOU WANT HIS COACHING ABILITIES BUT WHEN  COMMENTS LIKE THAT ARE MADE YOU NOT ONLY HARM PITINO BUT YOU HARM HIS FAMILY. SO GROW UP AND STICK TO THE SUBJECT AND KEEP THE MUD-SLINGING TO THE POLITICIANS AND NO IM NOT A UL FAN BUT THE NUMBER 1 FAN OF THE SCHOOL DOWN THE ROAD A FEW MILES.



Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: June 29, 2011 3:27 pm
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

Great to see North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas on this list mulitple times but even more impressive is Xavier and Memphis making it 3 times.   College Football could you similar scheduling Out of Conference.  



Since: Oct 10, 2010
Posted on: June 29, 2011 2:17 pm
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

How can a real Kentucky fan say anything negative about Rick Pitino, he was resposible for reviving the program. Eventhough I don't have much love for Uof L, Rick Pitino's joining with the cards has softened that dislike. I have and will continue to root for the cards when they play anybody but UK.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com