USF men’s non-league slate includes at least three teams from 2019 NCAA tourney

In all, USF will play seven non-conference foes who reached postseason play last March
USF junior David Collins (0) is among five returning starters for the Bulls in the 2019-20 season.
USF junior David Collins (0) is among five returning starters for the Bulls in the 2019-20 season. [ MONICA HERNDON | Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Sept. 10, 2019|Updated Sept. 11, 2019

USF has released its complete 2019-20 non-conference men’s basketball schedule, heavy on neutral-site matchups against stiff ― if not marquee ― opposition. (See bottom).

The most prominent home games are a Nov. 10 contest against Boston College of the ACC; and a Nov. 21 matchup with Wofford, a No. 7 NCAA Tournament seed last season that fell to Kentucky, 62-56, in a Midwest Region second-rounder.

MORE USF: While football founders, USF soccer teams sparkle

The entire non-conference slate can be seen here. Seven of USF’s pre-January foes reached postseason play in ’19, including three who made the NCAA tourney.

By contrast, none of the Bulls’ non-conference opponents on their 2018-19 schedule reached the NCAAs the previous year.

“We put an emphasis on assembling a strong non-conference schedule this season and I believe we have accomplished that objective with this challenging slate of opponents,” said Bulls third-year coach Brian Gregory, who returns all five starters ― and nine of the 10 players in his normal rotation ― from last season’s 24-14 club.

“The totality of our non-conference schedule will be a tremendous challenge for us, but we return a veteran group that is hungry to build off the success of last season.”

MORE USF: USF hoops gets commitment from 4-star prospect Caleb Murphy

Arguably the slate’s most significant game is a Dec. 21 date with FSU in the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic in Sunrise, marking the first meeting between the Bulls and 'Noles since 2014.

USF also plays 2018 NCAA tourney Cinderella ― and Final Four qualifier ― Loyola Chicago on Nov. 25 in the opening round of the Cayman Islands Classic. It faces New Mexico State (another 2019 NCAA team) or Colorado State the following day.

Additionally, the Bulls play reigning Mountain West Tournament champion (and No. 8 NCAA seed) Utah State as part of the Battleground 2K19 at the Toyota Center in Houston on Dec. 18.

USF's 2019-2020 men's basketball non-conference schedule .
USF's 2019-2020 men's basketball non-conference schedule . [ Tampa Bay Times ]