Huskers Release 2014-15 Non-Conference Schedule

Nebraska-Huskers-BasketballLincoln – Home matchups against a pair of NCAA Tournament teams, as well as a trip to Hawaii highlights Nebraska’s 2014-15 non-conference schedule released Thursday.

The Huskers, who return five starters from a team that went 19-13 and reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998, will host seven non-conference games at Pinnacle Bank Arena as well as an exhibition against Division II Southwest Minnesota State on Thursday, Nov. 6.  That matchup pits Nebraska Head Coach Tim Miles against a school he coached for four seasons, as he guided the Mustangs to the Division II Elite Eight in 2001.

The non-conference slate features home matchups with NCAA qualifiers Cincinnati and Creighton, a trip to Florida State for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and three games in the Diamond Head Classic over Christmas, where the Huskers face a 20-win Hawaii team in the opener and could meet Wichita State in the semifinals.

The 2014-15 season begins with a pair of home games, as Nebraska will open the 119th season in program history on Sunday, Nov. 16, against an opponent to be announced at a later date. Nebraska will take on a first-time opponent on Tuesday, Nov. 18, as the Huskers will host the Central Arkansas Bears. The Bears are coached by first-year coach Russ Pennell, who had previously served as the interim coach at Arizona in 2008-09 when the Wildcats reached the Sweet 16.

Nebraska will make its first road trip of the year on Saturday, Nov. 22, when the Huskers visit Atlantic 10 member Rhode Island. Third-year head coach Dan Hurley returns four starters, including sophomore E.C. Matthews, who was the Atlantic 10 Co-Rookie of the Year in 2013-14. Nebraska won the only previous meeting between the schools in 2011.

The Huskers will host the first of its two games against in-state foes on Tuesday, Nov. 25, when Nebraska takes on the University of Nebraska-Omaha. The Mavericks welcome back four starters for Coach Darrin Hansen after reaching the postseason for the first time as a Division I program in 2013-14. The week continues on Friday, Nov. 28, when Nebraska hosts Tennessee Martin. The Skyhawks are coached by first-year coach Heath Schroyer, who had previously coached against Miles when he served as the head coach of Wyoming from 2007 until 2011.

The Huskers face a challenging December to close out non-conference play, as Nebraska’s five known opponents (Florida State, Creighton, Incarnate Word, Cincinnati and Hawaii) combined to post a 117-46 record in 2013-14. In addition, NU could face a Wichita State team that went 35-1 in 2013-14 in the semifinals in Hawaii while Colorado, George Washington, Ohio and DePaul are on the other side of the Diamond Head Classic bracket.

Prior to heading to Hawaii, the Huskers will face three postseason teams in their first four games of the month, including a Florida State team brings back four starters from a team that won 22 games and reached the NIT semifinals in 2014. On Sunday, Dec. 7, Creighton makes its first-ever trip to Pinnacle Bank Arena, as the Bluejays went 27-8 before falling to Baylor in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.  Nebraska and Creighton will meet for the 48th time with the Huskers holding a 25-22 series lead over the Bluejays.

The three-game homestand continues on Wednesday, Dec. 10, when the Huskers face Incarnate Word. The Cardinals, who are in their second year transitioning to Division I, went 21-6 last year posting the most ever wins for a transitional Division I program. The Cardinals have three starters back, including Denzel Livingston, who averaged 20.3 points, 6.4 assists and 3.8 assists per game in 2013-14.

Nebraska’s final home non-conference game is on Saturday, Dec. 13, when the Huskers welcome Cincinnati to Pinnacle Bank Arena in the second game of a home-and-home series. The Bearcats went 27-7 and shared the American Athletic Conference regular-season title in 2013-14. It marked the fourth straight NCAA appearance for the Bearcats and Head Coach Mick Cronin, whose team replaces three starters, including first-team All-American Sean Kilpatrick.

The Huskers wrap up the non-conference schedule at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic beginning with a first-round game against host Hawaii on ESPNU. The trip marks the Huskers’ first trip to Hawaii since the 2006-07 campaign.

Start times and television information will be released by the Big Ten in September. Nebraska’s Big Ten schedule will be announced this evening on BTN Live beginning at 5 p.m. central.

Nebraska Basketball 2014-15 Non-Conference Schedule

Day                Date             Opponent                                                                          Location                         TV                                                    Tipoff
Thursday        Nov. 6          Southwest Minnesota State
 (exhibition)                                 Pinnacle Bank Arena      TBA                                                     TBA

Sunday           Nov. 16        TBA                                                                                    Pinnacle Bank Arena      TBA                                                     TBA

Tuesday          Nov. 18        Central Arkansas                                                                Pinnacle Bank Arena      TBA                                                     TBA

Saturday         Nov. 22        at Rhode Island                                                                  Kingston, R.I.                  TBA                                                     TBA

Tuesday          Nov. 25        Nebraska-Omaha                                                                Pinnacle Bank Arena      TBA                                                     TBA

Friday             Nov. 28        Tennessee-Martin                                                              Pinnacle Bank Arena      TBA                                                     TBA

Monday          Dec. 1          at Florida State (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)                                     Tallahassee, Fla.             ESPN2                                             6 p.m.

Sunday           Dec. 7          Creighton                                                                           Pinnacle Bank Arena      TBA                                                     TBA

Wednesday    Dec. 10        Incarnate Word                                                                  Pinnacle Bank Arena      TBA                                                     TBA

Saturday         Dec. 13        Cincinnati                                                                           Pinnacle Bank Arena      TBA                                                     TBA

Monday          Dec. 22        vs. Hawaii (Diamond Head Classic)                                             Honolulu, Hawaii           ESPNU                                      11:59 p.m.

Tuesday          Dec. 23        vs. Wichita St./Loyola Marymount (Diamond Head Classic)          Honolulu, Hawaii           ESPNU/2                                8/10:30 p.m.

Thursday        Dec. 25        vs. TBA (Diamond Head Classic)                                                  Honolulu, Hawaii           TBA                                                     TBA

Dates and Times subject to change; Times listed are Central