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Florida basketball announces 2015-16 non-conference schedule, game at Michigan State

The Gators will travel to East Lansing for the first time since 2000.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Florida will play at Michigan State as part of its 2015-16 non-conference basketball schedule, the program announced on Tuesday with the release of its full non-conference schedule.

"This is a first-rate schedule, and we will learn a lot about our team early on," (Michael) White said. "Everyone here is looking forward to the season and I know Gator Nation shares our enthusiasm, so we’re continuing to work hard every day in preparation."

Florida's non-conference schedule features just two true road games — the conclusion of its two-game series with Miami on December 8 and the beginning of a new series with the Spartans on December 12. Florida will get the second game of its home-and-home series with Michigan State in Gainesville in 2017-18, likely after the completion of renovations of the O'Connell Center.

This season, the Gators will play six non-conference games away from the O'Dome, including their season opener at Navy in the Veterans Classic, and just seven home ones. Prior to a January meeting with West Virginia in Gainesville as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, Florida will have played exactly as many non-conference games away from home as at it.

Between the difficulty introduced by non-home games and a roster of foes featuring 2015 Final Four participant Michigan State, always-good Richmond, and Florida State and Miami teams that should contend for NCAA Tournament berths, this is an excellent schedule — and it's good to see that the rigor that had become tradition under Billy Donovan will persist into at least the first season of Michael White's tenure as Florida's head coach.

Florida Gators 2015-16 Non-Conference Men's Basketball Schedule

Date Opponent Location Notes
November 13 (Friday) Navy Annapolis, MD Veterans Classic
November 16 (Monday North Carolina A&T Gainesville, FL Hall of Fame Tipoff Tournament
November 21 (Saturday) Saint Joseph's Uncasville, CT Hall of Fame Tipoff Tournament
November 22 (Saturday) Purdue OR Old Dominion Uncasville, CT Hall of Fame Tipoff Tournament
November 25 (Wednesday) Vermont Gainesville, FL Hall of Fame Tipoff Tournament
November 27 (Friday) Florida Gulf Coast Gainesville, FL First meeting since 2013 Sweet Sixteen
December 1 (Tuesday) Richmond Gainesville, FL Last meeting: UF won 67-58 in 2014
December 8 (Tuesday) Miami Coral Gables, FL Miami snapped O'Dome streak last fall
December 12 (Saturday) Michigan State East Lansing, MI First trip to East Lansing since 2000
December 19 (Saturday) Oklahoma State Sunrise, FL Orange Bowl Classic
December 22 (Tuesday) Jacksonville Gainesville, FL Florida is 30-5 all time vs. Dolphins
December 29 (Tuesday) Florida State Gainesville, FL Gators have won three straight at home
January 30 (Saturday) West Virginia Gainesville, FL SEC/Big 12 Challenge