Men’s Basketball Faces Rigorous Nonconference Slate – Central Michigan University Chippewas - Techy Hunters

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Friday, August 20, 2021

Men’s Basketball Faces Rigorous Nonconference Slate – Central Michigan University Chippewas

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich.Tony Barbee and his Central Michigan men’s basketball team aren’t ducking anybody.

CMU released the nonconference portion of its 2021-22 schedule today, and it is highlighted by a date with defending national runner-up Gonzaga and a game at Kentucky — as big a name as there is in the game and where Barbee spent the last seven seasons as an assistant to John Calipari.

“We want to test ourselves and we want to play the best competition that we can find,” said Barbee, who was named in April to lead the Chippewas. “The nonleague portion of the schedule will help prepare us for a tough Mid-American Conference schedule, which is why we play it. It’s arguably the most difficult nonconference schedule in the country and the most demanding attempted in decades at CMU.”

The MAC schedule will be released in September.

Over the past two decades, Gonzaga has ascended to the very top of the college basketball food chain, a neighborhood in which Kentucky has resided for generations. The Zags, who finished 31-1 a year ago and fell to Baylor in the national championship game, are likely to be ranked No. 1 in the nation or very near the top in the preseason polls.

Kentucky, which has won eight national championships, is projected to be a top 10 preseason team.

CMU and Gonzaga are scheduled to meet on Nov. 22 in the four-team Empire Classic in Las Vegas. The Chippewas are slated to go to Kentucky on Nov. 29.

UCLA and Bellarmine will also partake in the Empire Classic; the Chippewas and Bellarmine, a former Division II power in its second year playing in Division I, are slated to meet on Tuesday, Nov. 23 in Las Vegas.

CMU’s first seven regular season games are away from home, including the two in Las Vegas, beginning with a trip to Southeastern Conference foe Missouri on Nov. 9. That is followed by stops in Chicago to face DePaul, at Eastern Illinois, at Kentucky, and at Xavier, a team expected to be ranked in the top 25 nationally in preseason polls.

Central Michigan is slated to go to Youngstown State on Dec. 8 and to Detroit Mercy on Dec. 18. It is scheduled to entertain Western Illinois on Dec. 5 and Illinois-Chicago on Dec. 11.

CMU will host Olivet in an exhibition game at McGuirk Arena on Saturday, Nov. 6.

Season tickets for the 2021-22 men’s basketball campaign are now on sale.
 

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