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Xavier announces another competitive non-conference schedule

Xavier's non-conference schedule is out and, based on Ken Pom ratings, it should more than do the job.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

We take a break from our exhaustive coverage of the World Cup to bring you some actual Xavier basketball news. The full non-conference schedule is out. Xavier has, as per the norm, scheduled well. A trip to UC for the correctly badged and back to reality Crosstown Shootout on February 18th promises a boost in the middle of an undoubtedly grueling conference run in to March. While there are a handful of cream puffs (Northern Arizona, IUPUI, Murrary St.) teams like Stephen F. Austin, Alabama and Missouri will present chances to strengthen the resume before meetings with Georgetown, Marquette, and the rest of the Big East completely solidify things.

Below is the schedule with last year's KenPom finish for each team listed in brackets. For reference, Xavier finished 59th:

Friday, Nov. 14 Northern Arizona (Opening Night) [262]
Tuesday, Nov. 18 Long Beach State (home game as part of the Wooden Legacy) [148]
Friday, Nov. 21 Stephen F. Austin [57]
Monday, Nov. 24 Murray State [115]
Thur./Fri./Sun., Nov. 27/28/30 Wooden Legacy in California
Saturday, Dec. 6 Alabama [92]
Tuesday, Dec. 9 IUPUI [330!]
Saturday, Dec. 13 at Missouri [78]
Saturday, Dec. 20 at Auburn [129]
Sunday, Dec. 28 Florida Gulf Coast [171]
Wednesday, Feb. 18 at Cincinnati [23]

What you may notice missing there is a marquee non-conference game. There isn't one on here, the Shootout excepted, that you circle as being a can't miss matchup. Quite simply, the days of Xavier needing to land someone like Duke, Florida, or Tennessee on a non-conference game just to add some legitimacy to a potential bubble bid are gone. That doesn't mean it won't happen anymore, but those games will now come in the kind of preseason events that are held somewhere very warm or on the deck of an aircraft carrier.