"Coach, trust me, you're safe. None of the players on the court have a wooden stake."
The weekend was no barrier to announcements from the athletic department regarding the men's basketball non-conference schedule. Saturday brought the announcement of the yearly match up against the pantsless rodents to the west, the Wisconsin Badgers. That game will be taking place in the Bradley Center this year, and it will be on Saturday, December 8.
There's a couple of important scheduling notes to go with this announcement. First, according to the MU academic calendar, this game will be taking place on the Saturday before finals, so for those students amongst you, start carefully scheduling your studying now. Second, it appears that the Big Ten football championship will be played the week before, so there's going to be all kinds of Bucky fans who insist that this game doesn't mean anything to them that will be trying to get tickets. For those season ticket holders out there, remember that allowing Bucky fans into the Bradley Center is tantamount to treason. This goes double for you students thinking about scrounging up a spare Fanatic ticket to let your Bucky fan friend into the student section.
Finally, it's worth noting that Marquette will have more than a week between games, as there is nothing scheduled between the trip to Gainesville to face the Florida Gators on November 29 and Bucky rolling into town. This means that we can proceed with Badger Hate Week without having to think about the Jacksonvilles and Texas A&M-Corpus Christis of the world as has been the case the last few years. Officially, Badger Hate Week is scheduled to begin on December 3rd, but don't be terribly surprised if we take advantage of the extra time.
There's two more games to look at, so hit the jump for that!
Yesterday brought the announcement of the traditional post-finals week game, which will be against Savannah State. To the important facts generator!
2011-12 Record: 21-12
2011-12 Conference Record: 14-2 (1st Place in the MEAC)
Final KenPom.com Ranking: 173
And a brief preview from GoMarquette.com:
Marquette will face Savannah State for the first time since 2007 following a surprising season in which the Tigers won the regular season title in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference with a 14-2 record. Head coach Horace Broadnax took over the program following the 2004-05 season that saw the Tigers go 0-28 and helped Savannah State to a 21-12 record in 2011-12. Broadnax was the 2012 MEAC Coach of the Year, as well as the inaugural John McLendon National Coach of the Year Award winner and NABC All-District 15 Coach of the Year.
Now that's more like it! Top 200 KenPom teams are the way to build a strong non-conference schedule. Hey, wait a minute.
*checks MEAC standings*
Hey, remember Norfolk State from last year? They gave MU a scare in the Paradise Jam and then clipped Mizzou in a 2-15 upset in the NCAA tournament? They finished second in the MEAC to Savannah State last year. I think it's safe to bet that Coach Broadnax is going to have a motivated squad for this season.
While I was writing about the Wisconsin and Savannah State games, the athletic department was kind enough to make today's announcement. December 19th will mark Marquette's first road outing in the 11 game series against the Fighting Wardles of UW-Green Bay. That's a Wednesday, so very sneaky scheduling by the Phoenix to attempt to limit the number of Marquette fans at the game. Let's look at the facts on UW-GB from last year:
2011-12 Record: 15-15
2011-12 Conference Record: 10-8 (6th place in the Horizon League)
Final KenPom.com Ranking: 180
And the GoMarquette.com preview:
The Golden Eagles will travel to Green Bay on Wednesday, Dec. 19 to play a road game against Green Bay for the first time in program history. The Phoenix is led by Marquette’s seventh all-time leading scorer Brian Wardle, who returns All-Horizon League First Team performer Alec Brown and a squad which won eight of its last 10 regular season contests in 2011-12.
Not only did they win eight of their last 10 games, they also went 10-2 against Division 1 opponents at home last year. The Golden Eagles will have to have everything rolling in the right direction in the Resch Center to be able to come away with a victory. While I expect the Phoenix to provide a quality mark on Marquette's non-conference strength of schedule, it might not be as strong as last year with Butler departing the Horizon League for the Atlantic 10 this season.