7 postseason teams highlight Bulls’ 2019-20 nonconference slate

Coach Brian Gregory and his Bulls have a tough nonconference schedule. ORACLE PHOTO/BRIAN HATTAB

Little by little, USF men’s basketball’s 2019-20 schedule is becoming public knowledge.

It had been known for sometime the Bulls would play ACC teams Boston College at the Yuengling Center on Nov. 10 and FSU in Sunrise on Dec. 21. It was also revealed last week that the Bulls would be playing Utah State in Houston on Dec. 18.

Now the entire nonconference schedule is known after coach Brian Gregory released it Tuesday.

It’s a tough one, too — USF will face at least seven teams that received postseason bids last season, with four coming to the Yuengling Center.

The first matchup against a postseason team comes Nov. 13, when the Bulls host Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, a team that participated in the roughly third-tier CollegeInsider.com Tournament.

After IUPUI, the Bulls host Wofford on Nov. 21. The Terriers came close to upsetting No. 2-seed Kentucky in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, though lost 62-56.

Other postseason teams USF will face include Loyola Chicago (NIT), Furman (NIT), Utah State (NCAA Tournament), FSU (NCAA Tournament) and Florida Atlantic (CIT).

“We put an emphasis on assembling a strong nonconference schedule this season and I believe we have accomplished that objective with this challenging slate of opponents,” Gregory said in a statement. “We have also upgraded our home nonconference schedule, ensuring an exciting November and December in the Yuengling Center.”

In addition, the Bulls will participate in three holiday tournaments.

The game against Loyola Chicago will take place during the Cayman Island Classic in George Town, Grand Cayman, on Nov. 25. 

USF will play two more games in George Town afterward, playing either New Mexico State or Colorado State. New Mexico State reached the NCAA Tournament last season, and two other participants — Nebraska and Old Dominion — reached the postseason as well, potentially bringing the postseason-opponent tally higher than the guaranteed seven. In total, the Bulls will play three games in as many days during their trip to the Cayman Islands.

After a three-game homestand from Dec. 2-15, the Bulls face Utah State on Dec. 18 in The Battleground 2K19 at the Toyota Center in Houston. 

USF then returns to Florida to face FSU in the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic on Dec. 21 at BB&T Arena in Sunrise.

USF begins its season with a home exhibition against Saint Leo on Oct. 29. The first regular-season game comes against Arkansas Pine-Bluff on Nov. 5 at the Yuengling Center. The Bulls end nonconference play Dec. 29 against Florida Atlantic at the Yuengling Center before beginning AAC play presumably after the new year, though the conference has yet to release its schedule.

In total, USF plays 13 nonconference games, with eight of them coming at the Yuengling Center and zero coming as true road games. The full schedule, though without exact game times yet, can be found here.