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
|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|