Lincoln, NE – In a year where the Nebraska men's basketball team jumps to a new conference, facing new opponents weekly, they will play six teams that won at least 18 games last year and four squads that advanced to the postseason in non-conference play.
"I think we always want to play a schedule that our fans enjoy, but sometimes it is more difficult than others. This year we are fortunate to have some quality home opponents and a schedule that people will enjoy coming out to watch us play in November and December," Nebraska head coach Doc Sadler said. "When you add the nine home conference games in the Big Ten, it is going to be one of the top schedules in the country."
After finishing 19-12 last season and being criticized for a lack luster non-conference schedule, it was a goal of the university to schedule higher RPI teams. The Huskers went 12-2 in non-conference play last year.
"During the off-season, one of our goals was to put together a non-conference schedule that was going to help us build our NCAA Tournament resume if we are in that position," said Executive Associate Athletic Director Marc Boehm. "It's obvious that the NCAA Selection Committee puts a great deal of stock on the non-conference schedule. We believe this schedule will be challenging, but an opportunity for our program to get prepared for Big Ten play. The other focus was to have a schedule that our fans would enjoy.
"When we asked our season ticket holders, two of the biggest requests were for more home-and-home series against upper-level teams, as well as match-ups with teams from around the region," Boehm said. "I think our coaching staff worked hard to create a schedule that fits both needs."
Brandon Richardson (3)
Nebraska will open the year with South Dakota on Friday, November 11th. It's then, the Huskers will begin a stretch where they face three teams who made postseason play. That slate starts with a visit to Los Angeles on Monday, Nov. 14, to take on the Trojans in a series that has gone down to the final minute in each of the last two match-ups. Nebraska then welcomes a Rhode Island squad that went 20-14 last year and averaged more than 22 wins per season the last four years. On Wednesday, Nov. 23, the Huskers host Pac-12 foe Oregon to the Devaney Center, as the Ducks return three starters from a team that won 21 games en route to the CBI title last season.
Nebraska has not made the NCAA tournament since 1998, but does have four starters returning from last year's squad.
*** Parts of the NU Media Relations Department release was included in this story.