LAWRENCE—Games against two Big Ten Conference powerhouses and several other conference favorites highlight the challenging Kansas men’s basketball 2012-13 non-conference schedule.
“I think it is going to be a really good RPI (Rating Percentage Index) schedule,” KU head coach Bill Self said. “I don’t think there are as many traditional names on it as we have had the last couple of years. Ohio State and Michigan State will be two of the best teams in the country. Then you throw in the Temples and the Colorados, the Washington States, Oregon States, Richmonds, Belmonts, American; there are some good teams in there that will have really good RPIs that should probably help our RPI.”
“It’s probably a schedule that was done knowing that we also have eight freshmen,” Self added. “This is probably the youngest team we have had. (The schedule is) by no means easy, but we certainly didn’t load up like we did last year with traditional names.”
Kansas will play defending Big Ten regular-season co-champ Michigan State Nov. 13 in the Georgia Dome in the second annual Champions Classic doubleheader. Duke faces Kentucky in the other game of the event. In the 2013 Champions Classic, KU will play Duke while Kentucky faces Michigan State in Chicago.
On Dec. 22 the Jayhawks will travel to Ohio State for the teams’ third meeting in the last 12 months. The Buckeyes tied Michigan State and Michigan for the 2012 Big Ten regular-season title. KU knocked off then- No. 2 OSU in Allen Fieldhouse last Dec. 10, and then beat the Buckeyes again in the 2012 NCAA Final Four in New Orleans.
The typically tough Kansas non-conference schedule includes seven opponents who advanced to the 2012 postseason, four of which are defending league regular-season champions. In addition to Michigan State and Ohio State, KU also has the following opponents:
- Temple (Jan. 6 in Lawrence) won the tough Atlantic 10 Conference regular season in 2012 en route to the NCAA Tournament. The Owls move to the even-tougher Big East in 2013. This will mark the third time in the Bill Self era that the Jayhawks and Owls will meet. KU owns a 7-3 advantage in the all-time series with wins in the last two contests.
- St. Louis (Possibly Nov. 20, Sprint Center) reached the second round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament after finishing second in the Atlantic 10, just one game behind Temple. KU could play the Billikins on the second night of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City.
- Belmont (Dec. 15 in Lawrence) reached the 2012 NCAA Tournament – its fifth appearance in the last seven years – and was a long-time power in the Atlantic Sun Conference, winning the league’s regular-season title last March. The Bruins have moved to the Ohio Valley Conference and will challenge for the OVC championship immediately.
Page 2 of 2 - - Colorado (Dec. 8 in Lawrence), Kansas’ former conference rival, was within one game of the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2012 after winning the Pac-12 tournament title under former Jayhawk Tad Boyle.
- American University (Dec. 29 in Lawrence), one of the favorites for the Patriot League title, reached the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament in 2012.