It is finally definite. Xavier’s non-conference schedule is out and we, finally, finally, finally know when there will be basketball to watch again. For the college basketball diehard it has been a long and fraught summer waiting to find out if and when the sport might return. For Xavier fans, that long wait ends today.
Xavier’s season will start against the Oakland Grizzlies of the Horizon League on November 25th at noon. That is the first game of what is now being called the Xavier Invitational. The next day, Thanksgiving, Xavier takes on the Bradley Braves at noon, and the round robin tournament ends on Black Friday with Xavier taking on Toledo, also at noon. Excluding, if you can, everything else that is going on, the Invitational has set Xavier fans up for an awesome Thanksgiving week of basketball early in the day. With the parade a shell of the anachronism it usually is this year and the football not reaching a peak until a bit later, X has landed in the perfect spot on the television schedule.
After a two day break Xavier is back in action against EKU at the Cintas on the 30th of November before hosting Tennessee Tech on December 2nd. Those first five games should represent something of an amuse bouche before Xavier gets into the teeth of the abbreviated non-conference schedule. That starts with Xavier’s only “road” game of the non-con, a trip across town to face UC on Sunday, December 6th. The Musketeers final game before Big East play begins is against Oklahoma on December 9th. That comprises the entire slate of non-conference play this season.
If you wonder how that looks with what we know of the Big East schedule so far, it’s something like this.
Nov 25th v. Oakland @ 12 (Xavier Invitational)
Nov 26th v. Bradley @ 12 (Xavier Invitational)
Nov 27th v. Toledo @ 12 (Xavier Invitational)
Nov 30th v. EKU
Dec 2nd v. Tenn Tech
Dec 6th @ UC
Dec 9th v. Oklahoma
Dec 12th @ Providence
Dec 15th v. Seton Hall
Dec 18th @ DePaul
Dec 20th v. Marquette
Dec 23rd @ Creighton
That’s what we know so far. Beyond the Xavier Invitational, none of the games have a tip off time yet. There are 12 games out, there are more to come. For now, at least, we have something to look forward to.