Originally published May 2, 2013 at 06:07p.m., updated May 3, 2013 at 12:17a.m.
A neutral-floor game against Duke, road battles vs. Florida and Colorado, home contests versus Georgetown, San Diego State and New Mexico as well as an appearance in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas highlight Kansas University’s Kansas University's nonconference schedule released Thursday.
It is a schedule that, on paper, “will rival any we’ve ever played ... especially when you are replacing five starters,” KU coach Bill Self said. “This is probably not the brightest thing I’ve done since I’ve been here, but it is a schedule that will force us to get ready at an accelerated pace.”
KU will play exhibitions against Pittsburg State (Oct. 29) and Fort Hays State (Nov. 5), then open the regular season against Louisiana Monroe on Nov. 8, all in Allen Fieldhouse.
KU then will meet Duke on Nov. 12 in Chicago’s United Center, return home to face Iona (Nov. 19) and Towson (Nov. 22) before heading to the Bahamas for games Nov. 28-30. The Battle 4 Atlantis field consists of KU, Iowa, Villanova, Tennessee, UTEP, Xavier, USC and Wake Forest. Pairings have not been announced.
After the trip to the Bahamas, KU plays at Colorado (Dec. 7) and Florida (Dec. 10), followed by a Dec. 14 game against New Mexico in KC’s Sprint Center, which is on KU’s season-ticket package. KU also plays home games against Georgetown (Dec. 21), Toledo (Dec. 30) and San Diego State (Jan. 5) before starting conference play.
Self said, “no, no, it really wasn’t” when asked if it was intentional to load up with such difficult opponents. The schedule includes 2013 NCAA Tournament teams Colorado, Duke, Georgetown, Florida, Iona, New Mexico, San Diego State and possibly Villanova. Iowa and Tennessee played in the 2013 NIT.
“We knew we were going to play Georgetown and Duke, and I thought New Mexico would be a great game in Sprint Center. Colorado is a return game. San Diego State wanted to play a game here, and (at that point), I’m going, ‘So far, so good,’” Self said.
“That right there is plenty. When you throw in Atlantis ... the Big 12/SEC Challenge came into play, and we lucked out and drew a team that arguably has the personnel to make a run at a national championship (Florida). It’s going to be hard, no question about it.
“You know what? We’ve had hard schedules in the past, and our guys have usually rallied around it and accelerated our preparation a little bit.”
Schedule notes: KU and Duke last met in the title game of the 2011 Maui Invitational, a 68-61 Duke win. ... Iona won the MAAC postseason title and reached the NCAAs for the second straight year. ... Towson went 18-13 after finishing 1-31 in 2011-12. ... KU has won 21 straight against Colorado dating to 2003, including a 90-54 win in Allen last season. CU has made the NCAAs the last two years under former KU guard Tad Boyle. ... KU last met Florida in the title game of the Las Vegas Invitational on Nov. 25, 2006. KU won, 82-80, in overtime. Florida has reached the Elite Eight the last three seasons. ... New Mexico has won the Mountain West four of the last five years. ... Georgetown won a share of the Big East. ... Toledo tied Western Michigan for first in the 2012-13 Mid-America Conference West Division. ... S.D. State reached the Sweet 16 last season after beating Oklahoma in the second round. KU will return the game to San Diego State in 2015-16.
2013-14 Kansas Men’s Basketball Schedule (as of May 2, 2013)
Oct. 29 (Tuesday) – PITTSBURG STATE (Exhibition)
Nov. 5 (Tuesday) – FORT HAYS STATE (Exhibition)
Nov. 8 (Friday) – LOUISIANA MONROE
Nov. 12 (Tuesday) – Duke, Chicago, Ill. (Champions Classic, United Center)
Nov. 19 (Tuesday) – IONA
Nov. 22 (Friday) – TOWSON (Battle 4 Atlantis first round game)
Nov. 28 (Thursday) – TBD, Paradise Island, Bahamas (Battle 4 Atlantis)
Nov. 29 (Friday) – TBD, Paradise Island, Bahamas (Battle 4 Atlantis)
Nov. 30 (Saturday) – TBD, Paradise Island, Bahamas (Battle 4 Atlantis)
Dec. 7 (Saturday) – at Colorado, Boulder, Colo.
Dec. 10 (Tuesday) – at Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
Dec. 14 (Saturday) – NEW MEXICO, Kansas City, Mo. (Kansas City Shootout at Sprint Center)
Dec. 21 (Saturday) – GEORGETOWN
Dec. 30 (Monday) – TOLEDO
Jan. 5 (Sunday) – SAN DIEGO STATE
(Home games in CAPS)