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Analysis: Indiana Hoosiers’ Non-Conference Schedule

Archie Miller has his team set to battle several heavyweights.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Indiana Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Coming to Indiana, Archie Miller promised he would make it a priority to step up his team's non-conference schedule. Over the past couple seasons, the Hoosiers have been notorious for scheduling sub-300-ranked KenPom teams instead of mid to high-major opponents.

Here is this year's non-conference schedule.

  • 11/10 - Indiana State
  • 11/12 - Howard
  • 11/15 - at Seton Hall (Gavitt Tip-Off Games)
  • 11/19 - South Florida
  • 11/22 - Arkansas State
  • 11/24 - Eastern Michigan
  • 11/29 - Duke (Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
  • 12/9 - at Louisville
  • 12/16 - Notre Dame at Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Crossroads Classic)
  • 12/29 - Youngstown State

After starting off the season against a top three team in Kansas last year, the Hoosiers will open up the 2017-18 season with in-state Indiana State at Assembly Hall.

Although the Sycamores are no Kansas, Indiana will still have their hands full in Bloomington against a scrappy Indiana State team which finished 11-20 last season and would want nothing more than to knock off the Hoosiers on their home turf to start the season.

The last time these two programs met was back in 2006 when Indiana won 73-66 in Bloomington.

Two days later, Indiana will play host to another non-power five conference school in Howard. The Bison were 10-24 in 2016-'17 and finished last in the MEAC.

The Hoosiers will then travel to New Jersey and matchup against Seton Hall as part of the 2017 Gavitt Tip-off Games. The Pirates return a good chunk of players from their No. 9 seeded, 2016 NCAA Tournament team. Among them is senior center Angel Delgado, a guy who has a legitimate chance to win Big East Player of the Year.

After the Seton Hall matchup, Indiana will return home to battle South Florida of the American Athletic Conference. The Bulls finished dead last in the AAC last year with a 7-23 overall record.

The following two games will also take place in Bloomington against Arkansas State and Eastern Michigan. The Red Wolves of Arkansas State finished a respectable 20-12 last year and ranked among the top three teams in the Sun Belt. Meanwhile, the Eagles of Eastern Michigan were 16-17 last season and ended the year in the lower half of the MAC standings.

In the last episode of their four-game homestand, Indiana will be officially put to the test. First, on November 29th, the Duke Blue Devils come to town for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The last time these two teams met was in 2015, a 94-74 drubbing by Duke at Cameron Indoor. This time around, Coach K will have another loaded recruiting class to go along with controversial senior leader Grayson Allen. One thing is for sure, on November 29th, Assembly Hall will be rocking.

After a week-and-a-half break of no games, Indiana is set to go up against another team who has national championship expectations this year—the Louisville Cardinals. Led by head coach Rick Pitino, the Cardinals will return a good portion of their team from last year's group. They are expected to be a top-five team in the preseason rankings and are considered by many to have their best team in years this upcoming campaign. The Hoosiers will not have the benefit of home court this time around as the game will take place at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, but it still should be an action-packed, highly competitive game.

Indiana will see their projected third straight ranked opponent with Notre Dame on December 16th at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The last time these two teams matched up was in 2015 as part of the Crossroads Classic. The Hoosiers won 80-73 in a game that served as the turning point for Indiana in the 2015-'16 season after their horrid start.

To conclude the non-conference portion of the season, the Hoosiers will host Youngstown State. The Penguins were 13-21 in 2016-17 and finished second to last in the Horizon League.

The four games that stand out from the rest are obviously the Seton Hall, Duke, Louisville, and Notre Dame games. Every team has a long history of winning and are potentially going to be ranked in the Top-25 when they face IU.

While there are still some cupcake opponents, nobody’s non-conference schedule is going to be filled with all high-major teams. With that said, it's clear that Archie Miller and the coaching staff are trying to create a test for their team with their non-conference gamete.

Both Archie and his brother Sean—head coach at Arizona—have proclaimed the potential for an Indiana-Arizona series. While nothing is set in stone, the showdown would be excellent for both programs and college basketball as a whole. After all, the brother-on-brother storyline is awfully intriguing and both programs have the recent recruits to be title contenders in the near future.

Overall, it's hard to complain about the non-conference portion of the schedule heading into Miller's first season. At this point, Indiana isn't expected to be an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, but with this schedule intact, Indiana has a chance to earn a couple wins early on in the season and provide a solid resume heading into conference play.