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USF basketball schedules released

Both USF basketball schedules were released Friday. The teams will both play 20-game conference schedules, and the women’s team plays 24 regular-season games, while the men’s team plays 26 games, including taking part in a tournament. ORACLE PHOTO/BRIAN HATTAB

With less than a week before the start of the 2020-21 men’s and women’s basketball seasons, the schedules for both teams have been set.

Both schedules were released Friday afternoon. The men’s team begins its season Nov. 25 against Florida College at 11:30 a.m. at the Yuengling Center. The women’s team also begins its season at home but will play Jacksonville on Nov. 28 at 4 p.m.

The men’s team has a 26-game slate including a tournament, while the women’s team will play 24 games.

Women’s schedule includes heavy-hitting ranked teams

Continuing the tradition of playing high-quality opponents, women’s coach Jose Fernandez put together a nonconference schedule that might be one of the toughest yet, especially given the constraints of COVID-19.

“It’s been a challenging scheduling year to say the least,” Fernandez said in a statement. “Going to 20 league games has made it difficult, and losing out on our multiple-team event (Battle 4 Atlantis) didn’t help as well. We are still in need of one more nonconference game, but with the need for strength of schedule/RPI parameters on our part, it has not come to fruition. We are playing two in-state Atlantic Sun programs and two top 10 programs in the country.”

After opening their season against the Dolphins, the Bulls welcome the defending national champs No. 4 Baylor on Dec. 1 and No. 6 Mississippi State four days later. USF caps off its non-league schedule with Stetson at home Dec. 13 with a chance to add another game in between Mississippi State and Stetson.

The top-ranked Bulls begin their conference schedule at Memphis on Dec. 16. After the departure of UConn, the AAC changed the scheduling format and each team will play each other twice.

As for the annual War on I-4, USF will travel to UCF on Feb. 7 while the Knights will play in Tampa on March 2 to round out the regular season.

For the full schedule, click here.

Men’s schedule highlighted by ACC and SEC opponents

The Bulls are tabbed to have high expectations this year and are picked to finish fifth in the AAC. With that comes some high-quality opponents.

USF’s schedule features matchups against Virginia Tech on Nov. 29 and LSU on Dec. 12.

“While there were obvious challenges to nonconference scheduling this season amidst the pandemic, we’re really pleased with how our nonconference schedule lines up,” coach Brian Gregory said in a statement. “Playing in the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off provides us with two outstanding games against quality opponents right away. We’re also excited about playing two in-state teams at home before we close the nonconference schedule against a really, really good LSU team in another premier event in Atlanta.”

The Bulls will play the Hokies as part of the 2020 Air Force Reserve Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament in Uncasville, Conn. USF will play Rhode Island to start the tournament on Nov. 28.

After a two-game home stretch against Florida A&M on Dec. 4 and Stetson on Dec. 8, the Bulls travel to Atlanta to take on the LSU Tigers in Holiday Hoopsgiving 2020 on Dec. 12.

From there, the Bulls travel to the defending regular-season conference champs Cincinnati to kick off the league schedule four days after the LSU game.

Similar to the women’s schedule, the men’s team will play every AAC team twice in the regular season.

USF plays its first leg of the War on I4 at home on Jan. 2 and will complete the second leg in Orlando on Feb. 17.

For the full schedule, click here.