Sunday, July 12, 2009

Non-conference hoops schedule

Last week we learned the identities of Wisconsin's non-conference basketball opponents this season. Not bad, comparable to the non-cons most similar programs play nowadays.

Cupcakes: IPFW, Oakland (maybe not), Grambling State, Cal Poly, Illinois-Chicago

In-state: Marquette, Green Bay, Milwaukee

Tournament: Arizona, Chaminade, Cincinnati, Colorado, Gonzaga, Maryland or Vanderbilt

Marquee: Duke

At first glance, that looks like about two or three losses heading into Big Ten play, but plenty of chances for resume-building wins. The only true road game is at Green Bay, which lost a bunch of seniors. Duke should win our ACC/Big Ten Challenge game, but I feel better about our chances than I would have if Gerald Henderson had returned. My feeling is Marquette will take a step back this year after losing those guards, but will still be strong and could very well beat us in Madison.

The Maui Invitational has a lineup full of big names that are probably not up to elite status and very beatable. My early bet would be Maryland winning that thing with Gonzaga next.

Would it be fun to play a non-conference schedule like the on Michigan State seems to play with regularity, full of top 25 teams? Sure, but that would most likely leave us with a losing record heading into January, and that just doesn't work. The Badgers' schedule gets a solid B or B-minus, and that's good enough.

3 comments:

Will said...

Was hoping they'd schedule a game on the east coast.

Scott Tappa said...

We ever going to play in the preseason NIT? It seems like some teams play in that every year or every other year, and I can't remember us being in that. Sure hope you're not seeing them at the Garden in March ...

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