A closer look at Indiana’s non-conference schedule

While it’s yet to be officially announced by the IU Athletics Department, the 2012-2013 non-conference schedule has trickled out in pieces over the course of the summer.

Assuming the non-conference slate remains at the 13 games revealed to-date, here’s a deeper dive into what the Hoosiers will face before the start of Big Ten play:

· North Carolina headlines home non-conference schedule: Indiana will play 10 of its 13 non-conference games at Assembly Hall and North Carolina is clearly the marquee opponent of the group. The Tar Heels will likely begin the season ranked in the top 15 while eight of the other nine home non-conference opponents failed to reach the postseason in 2011-2012. North Dakota State, a participant in the 2012 College Basketball Invitational, will visit Bloomington on Monday, Nov. 12.

· Back to the Big Apple: For the second time in the Tom Crean era, Indiana will travel to New York in the non-conference. In Crean’s second season, Indiana defeated Pittsburgh 74-64 at Madison Square Garden. This November, the Hoosiers will play Georgia and either UCLA or Georgetown on back to back nights at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Assuming Shabazz Muhammad is eligible, the Bruins could end up being the highest ranked non-conference opponent.

· No road test: Unlike last season where Indiana faced tests at Evansville and North Carolina State, it appears the Hoosiers will not play a true road game until the Big Ten schedule in either late December or early January. The elimination of the series with Kentucky, an opponent Indiana would have been scheduled to visit had the previous home-and-home series continued, probably has a lot to do with this. Talk of a potential series with Kansas surfaced after talks with Kentucky broke down, but no agreement was reached for this season.

· Much improved Bulldogs? Despite handling Butler relatively easily last November, this year’s meeting should be more intriguing given the location at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and a Brad Stevens-led group that should be a stiffer challenge than last season’s 22-15 team. Despite the loss of point guard Ronald Nored to graduation, Butler adds Arkansas transfer Rotnei Clarke, freshman Kellen Dunham and returns its four other starters.

· Guarantee/non-guarantee mix: Nine of the 13 non-conference games are classified as “guarantee” games for Indiana which means the opponent will come to Assembly Hall without the promise of a return game. Indiana had eight such games on last year’s schedule.

· Other notes: Since 1940, Indiana is 73-18 in games played in Indianapolis. … The Hoosiers have never faced five of the programs on the non-conference schedule (North Dakota State, Sam Houston State, Central Connecticut State, Mount St. Mary’s and Florida Atlantic). … The trip to the Barclays Center for the Legends Classic will be the only time IU leaves the state in the non-conference. … Bryant, who will be the opening game opponent, is beginning its first season as a full NCAA Division I member. The Bulldogs finished last season 2-28. Indiana defeated Bryant 90-52 on Dec. 28, 2009 and lost Maurice Creek for the season to a knee injury.

  • jmfriedman

    Hopefully experience will come through when we go on the road in the BIG Ten. I don’t think it will be any shock at all if IU is undefeated going into conference. A couple road tests would be nice, but I am sure we will be tested soon enough. Can’t wait!

  • WhatsUpKnight

    unc and ucla (potentially). we’ll have the chance to show our dominance from coast to coast this preseason! and then we can clean up everything in between once B1G starts up. and i don’t know about everybody else, but i really hope every effort is made to set up a rematch with pUKe in the tournament! but i’d also settle for UL.

  • SconsinHoosier

    I think the schedule will allow IU to remain a Top-5 team up to the start of B1G play, which is good for a program trying to reestablish itself as a national power. The same approach may be needed next year, too, to reinforce that notion and keep the Hoosiers as a Sportscenter headline in Nov/Dec. But starting in 2014/15, I hope to see a more inspired schedule. I would hate for IU to become the Wisconsin football of the basketball world (a legitimate national power who refuses to man-up their schedule despite several years of success, which I believe hurts their “brand” from a perception standpoint).

  • Shop7

    I’m sure a road game at Kentucky was planned, and if you added that, this non conference schedule would be pretty tough.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    i absolutely agree. if you’re going to be one of the big boys, you have to have a big boy schedule. then again, considering how brutal the BIG schedule is and will continue to be, i think they’ve done a good job this year. would be interesting to compare our # of top 25 opponents to the other top 5 schools, but i’m too lazy to do it myself

  • SconsinHoosier

    I agree that Kentucky in place of any non-BCS team currently on the schedule would be a huge upgrade, but that game was cancelled in early May and appears to have been replaced with a cupcake. Seems I remember Kansas being interested, as well as Louisville. Even if there are politics and hurdles in scheduling one of those teams, a mid-to-low level BCS should have been an option considering the lead-time IU had. Again, perhaps IU took the Kentucky game as an opportunity to dumb-down the schedule and increase the possibility of remaining undefeated heading into conference play. After all, despite being a Sweet 16 team last year, it was still a team that didn’t show up against Iowa, lost to Nebraska, Minnesota at home, narrowly beat OSU and KY at home, and probably should have lost to NC State and VCU. Maybe this type of scheduling is what the team needs to firmly establish a culture of winning before playing “anyone, anywhere.”

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    Fixed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregory.spera.3 Gregory Spera

    North Dakota State, Sam Houston State, Central Connecticut State, Mount St. Mary’s, Florida Atlantic, Coppin State? Ha! No wonder IU is the preseason No. 1. Can’t wait for basketball season!

  • inLinE6

    Butler is a possibility, but it’s less likely for IU to visit any other non-conference Indiana schools. It won’t be televised and IU won’t travel for a non-televised game. Evansville was special because last year was their grand opening of the new stadium. I don’t see it happening often unless it’s backed by big market and national television.

  • HoosierTrav

    How awesome would a National Championship against each other be??? I would love to beat the Cats on that stage. A guy can dream right?

  • SconsinHoosier

    I’m too lazy, too, but I imagine it’s on par with other top-5 schools, sadly. I would love it if IU’s version of a “nontraditional schedule” meant playing more competitive games in Nov/Dec in Home/Away formats vs. home cupcakes and made-for-tv neutral sites that suck the life out of the game. Money… *sigh*

  • http://twitter.com/erikholm Erik Holm

    Good idea. I think the cross-roads classic kinda put a damper on this idea, but also guarantees us playing top Indiana talent. Every once in a while ISU, Valpo, BSU or Evansville have decent squads so it’d be nice to get on their court. Like inLinE6 said, it probably has to do with TV.

    We play at Purdue every year on the road. We have a loving unity with Purdue. Does that count? …yuck

  • CreamandCrimson

    Here’s what I found…
    -UCLA = Indiana State, Legends Classic (with IU), Cal Poly, Cal State Northridge, San Diego State (neutral), Texas (at Houston), Prairie View A & M, Long Beach State, Fresno State, Missouri.

    -Louisville = Samford, Miami (OH), Battle 4 Atlantis tourney, Illinois State, at Charleston, UMKC, at Memphis, FIU, Western Kentucky, Kentucky.

    -Kentucky = Maryland (in Brooklyn), Duke (in Atlanta), Lafayette, Morehead State, Long Island University, at Notre Dame, Baylor, Samford, Portland, Lipscomb, Marshall, at Louisville, Eastern Michigan.

    Those are probably teams #2-4. I think IU’s schedule is probably the weakest of the group but not by a large margin. UCLA has six guarantee games and play in the weak PAC-12, Louisville has six guarantee games and the Big East has gotten weaker. Kentucky has 8 guarantee games. No denying it though, we are lacking a second marquee game (excusable for this season considering the circumstance but let’s hope it gets beefed up a bit in the future).

  • WhatsUpKnight

    your dreams could be come reality this season! y’know, as much as i hate to see pUKe enjoy any kind of success, i would absolutely love to see that championship game.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    dang, nice work c&c. so it looks to me like we’re close. let’s all just be thankful the two ‘classics’ (think 80s and early 90s) no longer exist!!! my best friend/ul fan used to tease me nonstop about those.

  • SCHoosier

    I laughed at UK’s pre-conference schedule when it was released..I think I’ll stop laughing. Everything has a purpose I guess.

  • SCHoosier

    I think we can take the “undefeated” word out of our IU discussions. They won’t be in the conference regardless of what they do in the pre-B10 play.

  • 888

    I have no problem with this schedule at all.The Big is gonna be BRUTAL fellas. If we had a tough nonBIG shedule and lets say lost 2 games. Then we lose 4 games in the BIG. Then we lose in the BIG championship game that would be 7 loses and no chance at a #1 seed. If youve paid attention IU has a chance to play in Columbus Ohio then Indianapolis on the way to the Final 4. Its very important that we get that #1 overall seed over UL or they will play in Indy and we go East. I dont want anything that the commitee can use to send us away from home. With the BIG schedule I dont believe well get punished for a weak nonBIG. Its brilliant and I like it.

  • DarkSouth

    Would be much happier if the ‘Cats were the first 1 seed to lose to 16

  • DarkSouth

    IU has two big marquee game (UNC and Butler) and another likely (UCLA). Butler should be much better this year, SI put that one as the 6th best preseason game in the country on their most recent list.

    I think ours is as good as any of the others. As you point out C&C, It’s the national trend of ending home-and-away contracts that’s the bigger issue.

  • cdog

    I think there is a mind set of wanting to play some good teams in non-conference in order to challenge your team early. Two very good examples of how this works is MSU basketball and IU soccer. Izzo and Yeagley have used early tough games to get their teams ready for conference games and the post-season. I think Crean will get the schedule in a somewhat similar fashion in time. I am not talking a brutal schedule that puts you at 7-5 going into conference, but 2-4 solid teams with at least one on the road. IMO, the road win at NCST last year set the table for our entire season.

  • Andrew

    I disagree. IU has visited Ball State and Indiana State twice each in the last 10 years. All 4 games were on TV…why in the world would these games not be televised? IU hasn’t been to Hinkle since Damon Bailey was a senior, and seeing how much better they are than the other in-state schools, they would be the least likely to receive an IU visit.

  • InTheMtns

    Me, too, DarkSouth. Man, would that be a fun game to watch!

  • Andrew

    Well said Sconsin. Unfortunately I think we should get used to this. We return all 5 starters and welcome a top recruiting class…and yet the schedule features 11 teams that had triple-digit RPIs last season. If there’s that little beef this year, I wouldn’t hold my breath that CTC will think we need a challenging non-conf schedule in 2015.

  • Andrew

    Michigan State had 7 losses heading into the tournament last year and got a number 1 seed. So there is precedent as recently as last season. Also, “if you’ve paid attention,” there are no tourney games in Columbus, OH this season. That was last year. The closest first wknd sites to Bloomington this year are Lexington and Dayton. You are right, however, about Indianapolis hosting the MW Regional. And you are probably the only person who will call this schedule “brilliant.”

  • hgdownunder

    Yes, but it was a team that was undefeated in non-conference.

  • easysoul

    Not a most challenging schedule. But no different than any other big time school. Calls for a tougher non-con schedule are, well, un-called for.

  • Kelin Blab

    Lets not forget IU lost the KY game, which would have given them KY, UCLA, and UNC…three blue bloods. Tough to replace the KY game this year, expect it to change next year.

  • Wright Harney

    I just hope our road results in B1G play are a lot better than they have been under CTC

  • marcusgresham

    In the future I’d bet there’s at least one top-notch non-conference opponent. I think they were still holding out hope the Kentucky thing would be resolved and didn’t find a suitable replacement, but there will be one. Louisville? Kansas? Someone else?

  • marcusgresham

    I agree UK is the strongest of those schedules, but they also counter that with the SEC which isn’t nearly as strong at the B1G.

  • marcusgresham

    Would be much happier if they were on probation and ineligible.

  • Kris

    I also hope they win more B10 road games, but that seems like a subtle jab at Coach Crean. Maybe I’m reading your comment the wrong way? Obviously the IU program was decimated due to Denim Shirt and ever since we’ve struggled to win, especially on the road. But as we all saw with our eyes last year, Crean and the team proved they can win big games on the road – NCAA tourney is a great example. With more talent comes more wins, and that should include more wins on the road in B10.

  • esapata

    I think a home-home series game against Notre Dame wouldn’t hurt. Being a Big East vs B10 matchup would bring attention, and would certainly provide the market share to warrant televising nationally. It also helps that they’re an ok team in their conference. They usually make the tourney and would probably be better prep than some of these smaller schools we play. Both teams were pretty rusty last year when they played, but I feel like it would normally be a much livelier affair.

  • http://twitter.com/erikholm Erik Holm

    I was thinking the same thing earlier. When I was in school we had home & home with ND every year. There are other non-indiana schools close by that we consider too: DePaul, Cincy, Xavier…Louisville would probably be best. If we continue pillaging the DMV area, Georgetown may be a good choice moving forward.

  • FreeAgentID

    Go Hoosiers!

  • http://twitter.com/IUMitchell Deon M

    yep the bulldogs are much improved

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