The Michigan Wolverines posted their non-conference schedule for the upcoming season and it's a somewhat underwhelming, yet somewhat promising schedule that should keep things interesting for the Wolverines. The schedule can be seen in it's entirety below:
|11/04||Armstrong State (exhibition)||Crisler Center|
|11/17||Marquette (2K Classic)||New York, NY|
|11/18||Pittsburgh / SMU (2K Classic)||New York, NY|
|11/23||at South Carolina||Columbia, SC|
|11/26||Mount St. Mary's||Crisler Center|
|11/30||Virginia Tech||Crisler Center|
|12/03||Kennesaw State||Crisler Center|
|12/10||at UCLA||Los Angeles, Ca.|
|12/13||Central Arkansas||Crisler Center|
|12/17||Maryland Eastern Shore||Crisler Center|
A couple of things of note. First off, the previously announced series between Michigan and Cincinnati has been reportedly delayed until the 2018-19 season because of scheduling conflicts with finals. As the game between the two programs fell through this season, Michigan is replacing the Bearcats with a road trip to South Carolina. That road trip to Columbia is the first game in a home-and-home deal that should see South Carolina return next season.
Anyway, Michigan's non-conference schedule has plenty of notable names on it, but at the same time shouldn't be that difficult of a stretch to open the season. The first test for the Wolverines will take place a week into the season in New York when they tip off against Marquette in the 2K Classic. Marquette isn't a bad team, winning 20 games last season, but they barely ranked in the top 100 (per KenPom) and haven't been to the post season since 2013. If Michigan wins that game they should get a more notable challenge the next night, likely facing Pitt in the second game (assuming the Panthers beat a SMU team that will be replacing head coach Larry Brown).
Facing Pitt would be great for the Wolverine's non-conference strength of schedule as the only other team scheduled right now that went to the NCAA Tournament last season is Texas. That match in early December is the most notable game set to be played in Ann Arbor, with Virginia Tech being the only other somewhat notable team set to visit Crisler Center. While the Wolverines will face teams like Marquette, Pitt/SMU, South Carolina and UCLA, all of those games will take place away from Ann Arbor.
Rounding out the schedule is your laundry list of cupcakes, include three teams that finished last season outside of the top 300 (Howard, Central Arkansas and Maryland Eastern-Shore). Also set to visit Ann Arbor are IUPUI, Mount St. Mary's, Kennesaw State and Furman.
While the conference schedule hasn't been set yet, the Big Ten released the opponents each team will play earlier in the year. Michigan's conference schedule will include double plays against Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Nebraska and Wisconsin, with single home games against Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue. Not visiting Ann Arbor this winter will be Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern and Rutgers.