Ten Non-Conference Mountain West Games We Need To See In 2018
Non-conference schedules are starting to form. We have some ideas for must-watch games for November and December.
Check out our non-conference schedule wish list
Scheduling announcements are starting to flood social media as we approach summer, so we have you covered with ten wish list ideas for this fall’s non-conference season.
10) Wyoming vs. North Alabama
Former Wyoming assistant coach Tony Pujol took the North Alabama head coaching job in early April, leaving the Cowboys after three seasons. If you’re unfamiliar with North Alabama, you’re not alone. The Lions will be a D-I basketball team for the first time in program history as a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference this autumn. A first-time head coach leading a new D-I program against his former team would be an awesome way to tip off the new season.
9) New Mexico vs. Savannah State
Want to see a scoreboard break? Pair Savannah State, which has led the nation in tempo in consecutive years with over 80 possessions per 40 minutes, against Paul Weir’s run-and-stun Lobos. There’s absolutely no way the winner would score fewer than 100 points. It would be one of the more chaotic displays of basketball all year.
8) UNLV vs. Tulane
Tulane certainly doesn’t pop off the page, but the Rebels could use a middle-of-the-road opponent out of a high-major league on its schedule. UNLV had five non-conference games against teams ranked 250th or worse last year, so a slight bump in schedule strength wouldn’t hurt. More importantly, though, is that the Green Wave is led by Jordan Cornish, a former Rebel. Cornish could be in for a breakout senior season as Mike Dunleavy’s club loses its top two scorers, leaving Cornish with the second-highest returning usage rate on the roster.
7) Nevada vs. South Dakota State
This is the type of matchup that die-hard college basketball fans dream about. Mike Daum and David Jenkins both return to campus after averaging a combined 40 points, 13.5 rebounds, and a shooting split of 48.5/40.4/83.1 on last year’s 28-win team. On paper, Nevada is a mismatch for South Dakota State, but being able to potentially watch Daum take on Jordan Brown, Jordan Caroline and/or Trey Porter in a mid-major showcase would be a sight to see.
6) Fresno State vs. Utep
There’s basically no way this would happen (I’d imagine), but this matchup would be a must-watch. Rodney Terry led Fresno State to four seasons of 20 or more wins and an NCAA Tournament appearance, but up and left for UTEP in the offseason. Attendance collapses, issues within the athletic department, a small budget, and lack of a true practice facility continue to cap Fresno State’s potential as a basketball program. Terry facing his former team would generate some pretty intriguing headlines.