When Whit Babcock jumped on with Lance McAlister today to talk about the newly inked scheduling arrangement with the University of Michigan, he also revealed another little nugget about UC basketball. Cincinnati will be hosting the NC State Wolfpack and San Diego State Aztecs next season:
Whit admitted to desire/need to beef up basketball non-conference schedule….do have NC St and SD St coming next year #Bearcats
— Lance McAlister (@LanceMcAlister) March 27, 2013
The good news just keeps on coming, huh?
It would have been impressive enough that Whit yet again upgraded UC’s non-conference schedule but the fact that he convinced both of these teams to come to Fifth Third Arena is just icing on the cake. I’m not sure as of now if these are home-and-home series but I’d be willing to bet a return trip to both schools is in the works. North Carolina State has seen a resurgence since the hiring of Mark Gottfried and looks to be a perennial NCAA Tournament team. San Diego State is very similar to a fairly familiar opponent at this point, New Mexico. Like the Lobos, the Aztecs are a Mountain West power who continuously contend for conference titles and typically find themselves in the Big Dance. Overall, these are two great additions to the schedule that will help boost attendance before UC begins conference play.
So now the Bearcats boast a pretty strong list of non-conference opponents in 2013-14. Despite waving goodbye to Syracuse, Pitt, and every Catholic team previously under the Big East banner, Cincinnati has done a nice job making up for those losses. NC State and San Diego State join New Mexico and Xavier on UC’s non-conference schedule, which should help Cincinnati’s RPI and SOS come tournament time. In addition the Bearcats will play two games each against Louisville, Temple, and Memphis next season in their newish conference, which should only help their ratings.
Oh and none of those opponents are even included in a potential pre-conference tournament that UC should be invited to next year. That will only further improve Cincinnati’s March Madness resume.