Today hasn't been a great day for Virginia Tech men's basketball as the Hokies lost talented three-pointed shooter Ty Outlaw likely for the season due to a torn ACL in his right knee. However, the Hokies have now announced their full non-conference schedule.
Virginia Tech has released their 2017 non-conference schedule which includes games at Kentucky and Ole Miss, a home game against Iowa, and the 2K Classic games at Madison Square Garden. This is arguably the best non-conference schedule of the Buzz Williams era headlined by the road game at Kentucky.
The Hokies will open the season with two home games in three days against Detroit Mercy and The Citadel. The game against Detroit Mercy will be the season opener on November 10th and a part of the 2K Classic while The Citadel was on VT's schedule last year with Buzz Williams having a very good friendship with Citadel HC Duggar Baucom.
Those games will be followed by 2 games at Madison Square Garden as a part of the 2K Classic with the Hokies opening against Saint Louis and then facing either Providence or Washington. These 2 games give the Hokies a great opportunity to pick up a pair of strong resume-building victories that could prove quite valuable for NCAA Tournament seeding.
After that, the Hokies will return home for a trio of games starting with two games against Houston Baptist (part of the 2K Classic) and Morehead State.
The third game will be the Hokies' big non-conference game as Iowa comes to Blacksburg as a part of the ACC-Big 10 Challenge. This game against Iowa is the Hokies' only surefire home opportunity to get a quality win for their NCAA Tournament resume while also having a chance at winning a second-straight ACC-Big 10 Challenge victory after winning at Michigan last season.
VT then goes on the road for their first of two SEC road games at Ole Miss. The Hokies beat the Rebels last year at Cassell Coliseum and will look to gain a quality road win this year, something that is being weighted more heavily than in the past by the NCAA Tournament selection committee.
The Hokies return home after that for a pair of games against Radford and Maryland-Eastern Shore with the game against Radford being a welcome return of a mini-NRV rivalry that the Hokies have dominated.
After those 2 games, the Hokies hit the road again for their biggest road game of their non-conference schedule in renowned Rupp Arena against the Kentucky Wildcats. This game is definitely the signature matchup of non-conference play and could very easily be a matchup between two ranked teams though those odds may have gone down a little today due to the loss of Ty Outlaw.
The Hokies and Wildcats have never played before and this game could lay the groundwork for a future matchup at Cassell Coliseum. VT will definitely be the underdog, but will face a very young Kentucky team that will still be adapting to the collegiate level and likely won't be at their best yet.
After that, the Hokies have two final non-conference games against Presbyterian and North Carolina A&T before starting ACC play which should start right around the new year.
The Hokies do face some weak teams in non-conference, but this schedule is definitely an improvement that gives VT five games against teams from the Big 10, SEC, A-10, and Pac-12 or Big East.
Full Non-Conference Schedule
- vs. Detroit Mercy (11/10)
- vs. The Citadel (11/12)
- vs. Saint Louis (11/16) (at MSG for 2K Classic)
- vs. Providence/Washington (11/17) (at MSG for 2K Classic)
- vs. Houston Baptist (11/21)
- vs. Morehead State (11/25)
- vs. Iowa (11/28) (ACC-Big 10 Challenge)
- at Ole Miss (12/2)
- vs. Radford (12/6)
- vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore (12/10)
- at Kentucky (12/16)
- vs. Presbyterian (12/19)
- vs. North Carolina A&T (12/28)
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