On Monday afternoon, Illini fans got some exciting news when the school released its non-conference schedule for the upcoming season. It projects to be an interesting slate in a make or break year for Illinois.
There are plenty of marquee games and certainly enough intriguing home games to keep fans interested.
The full schedule is listed below.
2016-’17 Illinois Non-Conference Schedule:
- Washington U (Exhibition)
- Lewis (Exhibition)
- Southeast Missouri State
- Northern Kentucky
- West Virginia (New York City, New York)
- Florida State/Temple (New York City, New York)
- North Carolina State
- VCU (Miami, Florida)
- Central Michigan
- Brigham Young (Chicago, Illinois)
- Missouri (St. Louis, Missouri)
Although there will be plenty of intriguing games on this year’s Illinois non-conference schedule, there’s no debating that four really stand out among the rest. Those games are the matchups with North Carolina State, VCU, West Virginia, and either Florida State or Temple.
None of these opponents look like top-tier opponents, but all should be good enough to boost Illinois’ resume. Notably, all four of those games will come either at home or on a neutral court. In fact, the Illini don’t have a single road games in this year’s non-conference slate, which should certainly make things easier.
Along with those four games, Illinois also has some interesting games against what should be decent BYU, Detroit, and Missouri teams. All three could be in position to make some progress this year, but are still beatable opponents. In other words, they’re three games with the potential for reward without a ton of risk. A great draw for a team trying to make the NCAA Tournament.
Overall, it looks like an intriguing upcoming slate for Illinois and one that could put the team in real contention for the upcoming NCAA Tournament.