Florida has unveiled its 2015-16 non conference basketball schedule in its entirety.
The Gators’ home non conference games include Florida State, West Virginia and Richmond. Their road slate is much tougher, featuring Miami, Michigan State, and Navy. They’ll also face Oklahoma State in the annual Orange Bowl Classic.
Here’s the complete schedule:
|Friday, November 13||at Navy||Annapolis, MD|
|Monday, November 16||North Carolina A&T||Gainesville, FL|
|Saturday, November 21||vs. St. Joe’s||Uncasville, CT*|
|Sunday, November 22||vs. Purdue/Old Dominion||Uncasville, CT*|
|Wednesday, November 25||Vermont||Gainesville, FL|
|Friday, November 27||Florida Gulf Coast||Gainesville, FL|
|Tuesday, December 1||Richmond||Gainesville, FL|
|Tuesday, December 8||at Miami||Miami, FL|
|Saturday, December 12||at Michigan State||East Lansing, MI|
|Saturday, December 19||vs. Oklahoma State||Sunrise, FL**|
|Tuesday, December 22||Jacksonville||Gainesville, FL|
|Tuesday, December 29||Florida State||Gainesville, FL|
|Saturday, January 30||West Virginia||Gainesville, FL|
|Note: *Foxwoods Tournament **2015 Orange Bowl Classic|
We already knew about some of these games. Florida and West Virginia have been set to play in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, we knew the Gators owed Miami a return trip after hosting the Hurricanes last year, and Florida recently announced their game against Oklahoma State.
The big one is Michigan State. Florida and Michigan State have long been in talks to schedule a basketball series, but the talks hit a snag because Michigan State wanted to host the first game of the home and home series. But Florida’s O’Dome renovations being pushed back a year eliminated their need to travel for the non conference slate of the 2015-16 schedule. The Spartans’ return trip to Gainesville will likely either be postponed a year, or will happen after the renovations are complete in the midst of the Gators’ SEC schedule, the way they’re hosting West Virginia in late January this year.
In addition to the non conference opponents, Florida has been set to play Georgia, Vanderbilt and Kentucky twice a year on an annual basis beginning this coming year. Of the ten remaining SEC teams, Florida will play two of them twice in a given year on a rotating basis. Those additional two twice-a-year opponents have not been set for this season.
So, welcome to Gainesville, Mike White. Here’s your schedule. It’s a brutal one. I’m totally understanding that your team may lose a bunch of games this year, but that’s a good thing. This will be a young team who could really use the experience of playing in all these big games, and the idea is for it to pay dividends on the back end a year or two from now.