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Florida attempts to beef up its 2009 basketball schedule



When SEC Commissioner Mike Slive met with league basketball coaches last May in Destin, one of his messages was simple: if you want more than two teams in the NCAA Tournament, schedule tougher non-conference opponents.

After being ridiculed for its weak non-conference schedule for several years now, Florida announced its 2009-10 schedule, which includes five non-conference teams that made it to postseason play last year - including a game in Tampa.

The Gators have a neutral site game against 2009 national runner-up Michigan State, home games with NCAA Tournament teams Florida State and Xavier, and an appearance in the SEC/Big East Challenge against Syracuse in Tampa among its highlights.

“This is as challenging a non-conference schedule as I can remember us having,“ UF head coach Billy Donovan said. “It’s a great mix of getting some experience playing high level teams on neutral courts and getting a few really good road games in, but also being able to bring a number of high caliber opponents to Gainesville for our fans, that part was really important to us as well. This schedule will definitely challenge us and prepare us for our conference season.”

Here's the full non-conference schedule:

Date    Opponent                                Site
2       St. Leo University (Exh.)                 Gainesville
9       Webber International (Exh.)             Gainesville
15      Stetson                                        Gainesville
18      Georgia Southern#                        Gainesville
20      Troy#                                           Gainesville
24      Florida State                                Gainesville
27      Michigan State/UMass or Rutgers Atlantic City, N.J.
28      Michigan State/UMass or Rutgers Atlantic City, N.J.

1       Florida A&M                                Gainesville
4       Jacksonville                                 Jacksonville.
10      Syracuse%                                 Tampa
19      [email protected]                               Sunrise
22      South Alabama                          Gainesville
28      American                                   Gainesville
30      Presbyterian                              Gainesville

3       North Carolina State                    Raleigh, N.C.

13      Xavier                                      Gainesville

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 1:07pm]


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