UF's basketball non-league schedule strong

Florida Gators center Patric Young points after getting possession of the ball against the Louisville Cardinals during the first half of the Elite 8 game on March 24 at the U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Ariz.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 11:28 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 11:28 a.m.

Following a pattern that’s led to three straight NCAA Tournament bids, Florida has put together another strong non-conference schedule for the 2012-13 season.


2012-13 Florida non-conference schedule

Nov. 1 — Nebraska-Kearney (exhibition)
Nov. 9 — Georgetown (Navy/Marine Corps Classic, Jacksonville)
Nov. 11 — Alabama State
Nov. 14 — Wisconsin
Nov. 18 — Middle Tennessee State (at Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa)
Nov. 20 — Savannah State
Nov. 23 — UCF
Nov. 29 — Marquette
Dec. 5 — at Florida State
Dec. 15 — at Arizona
Dec. 19 — Southeastern Louisiana
Dec. 22 — Kansas State (Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo.)
Dec. 29 — Air Force (Orange Bowl Classic, BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise)
Jan. 6 — at Yale

It may wind up ranking among the most challenging in the nation. The schedule includes five games against NCAA Tournament teams and a rematch with Arizona, a likely preseason Top 25 pick.

“This is as challenging a non-conference schedule as we’ve had during my tenure at Florida,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said. “We’ve made deep runs in the NCAA Tournament each of the last two years, and a schedule like this helps expose us to a number of different styles of play that we could see later in the season, and also does a great job preparing us for SEC play.”

Two of UF’s first three games will test the Gators right away. Florida will open the season Nov. 9 against Georgetown in the Navy/Marine Corps Classic on the deck of an aircraft carrier off the coast of Jacksonville. Then, after facing Alabama State in its O’Connell Center opener on Nov. 11, Florida will host Wisconsin on Nov. 14.

Other notable games in November include Middle Tennessee State (Nov. 18 at Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa), UCF (Nov. 23) and Marquette (Nov. 29, SEC-Big East Challenge).

In December, the Gators will have two true road games and two more neutral court games away from the O’Connell Center. The month begins with a Dec. 5 game at rival Florida State. On Dec. 15, Florida will play at Arizona in the return game of a home-and-home series.

Florida will then travel to Kansas City on Dec. 22 for a Holiday Classic game at the Sprint Center against Kansas State. On Dec. 29, Florida will travel to Sunrise to face Air Force in the MetroPCS Orange Bowl Classic.

The non-conference schedule will conclude with a Jan. 6 game at Yale. The game will serve as a homecoming for Florida senior forward Erik Murphy, a Rhode Island native. Yale’s campus is in New Haven, Conn., about an hour-and-a-half drive from Murphy’s hometown of South Kingstown, R.I.

Florida will play its lone exhibition game Nov. 1 against Nebraska-Kearney.

The Gators return three starters from a team that’s coming off its second straight Elite Eight appearance. Florida is playing 13 non-conference games this season because the Southeastern Conference is expanding its schedule to 18 games with the additions of Missouri and Texas A&M.

Start times and broadcast information for the schedule will be announced at a later time.

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