Creighton announced its full nonconference schedule Monday, a slate that includes four games against 2018 NCAA tournament teams, the annual rivalry matchup against Nebraska and six home tilts with mid-major foes.
The Jays will open the regular season against Kennesaw State on Nov. 5 at the CHI Health Center.
Then comes the biggest early test of the 2019-20 campaign: CU plays at Michigan on Nov. 12 as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games. The Wolverines have a new coach, Juwan Howard, but they’ve made four straight NCAA tournaments.
Additional challenges await Creighton before Big East play begins.
After the Jays open the Vegas Invitational with a game against San Diego State on Nov. 28, they’ll play either Iowa (NCAA second round in 2018) or Texas Tech (NCAA runners-up) the next day. CU hosts Oklahoma (NCAA second round) on Dec. 17 before traveling to Arizona State on Dec. 21 (NCAA first round).
The annual rivalry game against Nebraska is set for Dec. 7. The game time hasn’t been announced but it’ll be played at the CHI Health Center.
Also coming to Omaha to face Creighton: Louisiana Tech (eighth in Conference USA last year), Cal Poly (6-23 overall), North Florida (third in Atlantic Sun), Oral Roberts (11-21 overall) and Texas-Rio Grande Valley (fourth in WAC).
CU did only announce 12 nonconference games Monday, so there is still room for an additional matchup to be added. Also, Creighton is set to play an exhibition game against Division II McKendree on Nov. 1.
The Jays’ full 2019-20 schedule will be announced next month when the Big East releases the 18-game round-robin calendar. Four league teams (Villanova, Marquette, Seton Hall and St. John’s) made the 2018 NCAA tournament.
Creighton finished 20-15 last year and missed a third-straight NCAA bid. It did qualify for the NIT, earning a No. 2 seed and reaching the tournament’s quarterfinals.
The Jays’ NCAA at-large candidacy was aided by their strength of schedule. They had the 28th-toughest nonconference strength of schedule (14th among high-major teams) — and they ranked 16th in overall strength of schedule.
It remains to be seen how this year’s schedule will rank. Presumably, it'll end up being easier for Creighton to navigate than last season. Below is the full slate:
Nov. 5: Kennesaw State | CHI Health Center
Nov. 12: at Michigan | Ann Arbor, Mich. (Gavitt Games)
Nov. 16: Louisiana Tech | CHI Health Center
Nov. 22: Cal Poly | CHI Health Center (Las Vegas Invitational)
Nov. 24: North Florida | CHI Health Center (Las Vegas Invitational)
Nov. 28: vs. San Diego State | Las Vegas (Las Vegas Invitational)
Nov. 29: vs. Texas Tech or Iowa | Las Vegas (Las Vegas Invitational)
Dec. 3: Oral Roberts | CHI Health Center
Dec. 7: Nebraska | CHI Health Center
Dec. 13: UT Rio Grande Valley | CHI Health Center
Dec. 17: Oklahoma | CHI Health Center
Dec. 21: at Arizona State | Tempe, Arizona