Creighton’s nonconference schedule will include five games against NCAA tournament teams, including likely national title contender Gonzaga.
The Bluejays released their list of opponents Monday afternoon. Many of the headline matchups were already known, but now all the dates are officially set for CU’s pre-league slate.
The annual Creighton-Nebraska game, at Pinnacle Bank Arena, will take place Dec. 8. The Jays have won seven straight in the series, but the Huskers may have put together their best team in several seasons.
CU will have another road test 10 days later when it plays at Oklahoma on Dec. 18. The Sooners are looking for a second straight NCAA tournament berth but they’ll be without NBA lottery pick Trae Young on the roster.
The Creighton home schedule will feature several challenges as well.
The aforementioned Zags will come to town Dec. 1 — it’s the return trip in a home-and-home deal that began last year, when Creighton lost 91-74 in Spokane, Washington. Gonzaga, a projected top-five team, returns many of its top players from last year’s squad, which reached the Sweet 16.
The Jays will also host Ohio State (Nov. 15) and Montana (Nov. 28). Both teams reached the NCAA tournament a season ago.
The regular season officially begins Tuesday, Nov. 6, when Creighton hosts Western Illinois. College basketball this year has moved the national start date up three days to help maximize exposure of the sport’s season openers.
CU has a November trip planned to take part in the Grand Cayman Classic — it’ll play Boise State in the first round on Nov. 19 and either St. Bonaventure or Georgia State (both 2018 NCAA tournament teams) in the second game.
Also on the Jays’ home schedule: East Tennessee State (Nov. 11), Green Bay (Dec. 14), Division III Coe College (Dec. 20) and UMKC (Dec. 27).
Creighton hosts Winona State for an exhibition game on Oct. 27. Former CU player Todd Eisner coaches the Warriors.
The Big East schedule is expected to be announced next month.