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Florida announces 2017-18 non-conference men’s basketball schedule

There aren’t many gimmes for the Gators this fall.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-East Regional-Wisconsin vs Florida Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators men’s basketball program has officially announced its non-conference schedule for the 2017-18 season — and while it’s not quite so difficult as the slate faced in 2016-17, it should be a test for a team that will hope to return to the Elite Eight and go further in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

Florida will play five games against teams from power conferences — Stanford, Florida State, Cincinnati, Clemson, and Baylor — and should play two more, if its post-first round foes in the PK80-Phil Knight Invitational end up being some of the power-conference programs in attendance. And of those games, only the tilts against Florida State in early December and Baylor in late January — as part of the 2018 SEC-Big 12 Challenge — are set to happen at home.

That’s obviously a welcome change from the 2016-17 season, in which Florida played just one true home non-conference game in the renovated O’Connell Center after spending much of the season’s first two months away from home while that eight-figure facelift was concluding.

And while Florida’s 2016-17 schedule was highlighted by a meeting with Duke at Madison Square Garden, a higher-caliber game than any on this non-conference slate, the Gators could see the Blue Devils — or 2017 NCAA Tournament finalist Gonzaga — again in the PK80, should wins and losses work out that way.

Florida will also play eight non-conference home games, opening its 2017-18 season on November 13 against Gardner-Webb in Gainesville.

The full Florida men’s basketball non-conference schedule is as follows:

Florida Gators Men’s Basketball 2017-18 Non-Conference Schedule

Date Opponent Location
Date Opponent Location
Sunday, November 5 Tampa (Exhibition) Gainesville
Monday, November 13 Gardner-Webb Gainesville
Thursday, November 16 North Florida Gainesville
Sunday, November 19 New Hampshire (PK80) Gainesville
Thursday, November 23 Stanford (PK80) Portland, Ore.
Friday, November 24 Ohio State/Gonzaga (PK80) Portland, Ore.
Sunday, November 26 Butler/Duke/Portland State/Texas (PK80) Portland, Ore.
Monday, December 4 Florida State Gainesville
Wednesday, December 6 Loyola Chicago Gainesville
Saturday, December 9 Cincinnati (Never Forget Tribute Classic) Newark, N.J.
Saturday, December 16 Clemson (Orange Bowl Classic) Sunrise, Fla.
Wednesday, December 20 James Madison Gainesville
Friday, December 22 Incarnate Word Gainesville
Friday, January 27 Baylor (SEC-Big 12 Challenge) Gainesville