Trips to Cancun, Butler on Northwestern non-conference schedule

Trips to Cancun, Butler on Northwestern non-conference schedule
June 16, 2014, 2:00 pm
Share This Post
Vinnie Duber

Northwestern's non-conference hoops schedule is out, and it includes many of the same foes as last season.

The school put out part of their schedule on Monday, and there are differences from last year, notably battles with a couple major-conference opponents in the Big East's Butler and the ACC's Georgia Tech.

[MORE BIG TEN HOOPS: Northwestern's Drew Crawford works out for hometown Bulls]

Here's a look at the announced games:

— Nov. 14: vs. Houston Baptist
— Nov. 17: at Brown
— Nov. 20-26: Cancun Challenge (Nov. 25-26 in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico)
— Dec. 3: vs. Georgia Tech
— Dec. 6: at Butler
— Dec. 14: vs. Mississippi Valley State
— Dec. 17: vs. Central Michigan
— Dec. 20: vs. Western Michigan
— Dec. 22: vs. UIC
— Dec. 27: vs. Northern Kentucky

The Cats played four of those opponents last season: Brown, Mississippi Valley State, Western Michigan and UIC.

[MORE BIG TEN HOOPS: Northwestern: Welsh-Ryan Arena also getting new video boards]

"With a number of talented newcomers joining a solid returning core this fall, we're looking forward to getting the regular season started on Nov. 14," Northwestern head coach Chris Collins said in the school's release. "We'll be tested in late November and into December with the Cancun Challenge, a visit from Georgia Tech in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and a trip to Hinkle Fieldhouse to take on Butler as we prepare for what is always a grueling conference slate."

While a schedule for the Cancun Challenge has yet to be announced, the Cats could face Virginia Tech, Northern Iowa or UCF.

A trip to Indianapolis to take on Butler will be one of the early season highlights. The Bulldogs have made the NCAA tournament in six of the past eight seasons, though they missed out on the Big Dance last season in their first year under new head coach Brandon Miller.

Georgia Tech also figures to be a notable matchup, part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Yellow Jackets haven't been to the NCAA tournament since 2010 and have finished a season above .500 just once in that four-year tourney absence.