For the last few months, we've been slowly piecing together UB's out of conference schedule based on press releases from the Bulls' future opponents and tournaments. Though it seems a formal announcement is forthcoming, the full schedule is now viewable on the Athletics website, and as expected, there's a handful of games beyond the nine we had ferreted out, and the full MAC schedule.
Friday 11/6 - Daemen
Friday 11/13 - Pitt.-Bradford
Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic
Monday 11/16 - @ Old Dominion
Wednesday 11/18 - @ St. Joseph's
Saturday 11/21 - vs North Carolina A&T @ Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT
Sunday 11/22 - vs Niagara / Vermont @ Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT
Saturday 11/28 - Canisius
Wednesday 12/2 - St. Bonaventure
Saturday 12/5 - @ Duke
Tuesday 12/8 - @ Iowa State
Saturday 12/12 - Binghamton
Saturday 12/19 - Montana State
Saturday 12/22 - @ Virginia Commonwealth
Saturday 12/29 - Delaware
Tuesday 1/5 - Akron
Friday 1/8 - @ Kent State
Tuesday 1/12 - @ Eastern Michigan
Saturday 1/16 - Central Michigan
Tuesday 1/19 - @ Miami
Saturday 1/23 - @ Western Michigan
Tuesday 1/26 - Ball State
Saturday 1/30 - @ Toledo
Tuesday 2/2 - @ Northern Illinois
Saturday 2/6 - Eastern Michigan
Tuesday 2/9 - Toledo
Saturday 2/13 - Ohio
Tuesday 2/16 - @ Akron
Saturday 2/20 - Bowling Green
Tuesday 2/23 - Kent State
Saturday 2/27 - @ Ohio
Tuesday 3/1 - Miami
Friday 3/4 - @ Bowling Green
On a quick look, this is a great schedule for UB, one that we haven't seen in a long time. A few big takeaways:
Daemen lose some seniors from their standout 2014-15 team, but if UB is going to find a local team for an exhibition (I assume it's an exhibition) they're the ones I want. No lower level program in the area is better, and they'll provide a challenge. Among D-1 rivals, I've said it before, but I'm glad there's no guaranteed matchup against Niagara, and I'm ok with playing Canisius at home now that the downtown arrangement is off.
Variety in OOC
As with the Kentucky-Wisconsin duo last year, UB has two bigtime programs on the docket again in 2015-16 in defending National Champions Duke and Iowa State, but I'm also glad to see a number of winnable games at home.
No prolonged exam break in December
If all the student-athletes' exams go poorly, I won't celebrate this in the future, but it's nice from a fan's perspective not to have an eleven-day-plus wait between games.
Regularity in the MAC Schedule
Students, don't schedule any Tuesday night classes and you'll be all set. This is the most regular I've seen the MAC schedule in a long time, with all of UB's games except for the season finale (on the road) coming on Tuesdays and Saturdays. That predictability is good for fan interest.
No long road trips
Other than the tournament in November, UB never plays more than two games in a row on the road.
This is a good schedule. Had the 2015 team stuck together, it'd be one built to see UB challenge for at-large consideration in March. Given the turmoil, it's still a refreshing mix of challenging and winnable games that should help the team grow without dipping too far down into the rebuilding doldrums.
What stands out to you?