UMass-Lowell. Mississippi Valley State. Houston Baptist. Rutger.
Those were actual teams that were a part of a terrible non-conference schedule that Indiana played against in 2016-17 season. It’s not hard to find better teams out there that Indiana could face off against. Here’s my list (in no particular order) of teams that would make for an upgrade in next years non-conference scheduling.
Let’s pit Bloomington, Indiana against Bloomington, Illinois. Those of you may remember that Illinois St. was the biggest snub of the most recent NCAA tournament. This is one of the better non-power conference teams as well with a 2016-17 record of 28-7 with only one conference loss to Wichita St. And Redbirds coach Dan Muller is ready to challenge anyone.
ACC BIG 10 BIG 12 SEC PAC 12 BIG EAST. It's me again. Looking 4 home & home next year. Pls call me 4 chance 4 QUALITY road win, top 33 RPI pic.twitter.com/zYAZpR3kJn— Dan Muller (@DanMuller) March 13, 2017
This one seems a bit odd but...
TAke a look, y’all:
It’s like if a college basketball game broke out at 1 a.m. at Dunnkirk on a Saturday night.
After sitting out of postseason contention the past few years because of transitioning to Division I, Grand Canyon will be making a lot of noise in their first year of eligibility this coming season in the WAC. They’re not going to win a national title this year but they have one of the best fan bases that no one knows about. That, and they call themselves the Havocs, which is a pretty cool nickname. Speaking of the state of Arizona...
This one feels pretty obvious but this would finally give Sean and Archie a chance to play each other. In the past it would seem too dangerous for Arizona to play Dayton, but with Archie at IU, it would give Sean a chance to play his brother without having to risk blemishing his tournament resume.
I’m not going to delve into this one because Jack Grossman already talked about bringing this great rivalry back to life.
An Indiana school not in the Crossroads Classic
Valparaiso. Indiana State. Evansville. These are just some of the schools that Indiana should try and pick up in their non-conference play. IPFW was the team to fill that spot last season and was great despite an overtime loss. The state of Indiana claims that basketball means something different here. And these games could show how that talent spans across the state and is exclusive to the teams in the Crossroads Classic.
To be honest, this one is just personal, as an Iowa native. This team does not get the love that they deserve. Although they didn’t make the tournament this past year they did make it in 2016 and almost made the Sweet 16 if not for blowing a lead late against Texas A&M. So please IU, give this team some well-deserved love.