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2013-14 Mizzou Basketball: The non-conference schedule is complete and RPI-friendly

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports Mizzou Basketball Announces Challenging Non-Conference Schedule
The Trib: MU hoops releases early schedule, will play in Kansas City
Post-Dispatch: Tigers unveil nonconference schedule
KC Star: MU basketball team will play Hawaii at Sprint Center this fall
PowerMizzou: Mizzou announces non-con hoops schedule

So Mizzou released its 2013-14 non-conference basketball slate yesterday evening. It is bereft of definitively elite competition (though Illinois, UCLA, and N.C. State could all be pretty damn strong with a break or two), but with two preliminary Las Vegas Invitational cupcakes admittedly still left to schedule, it is also a very RPI-friendly slate. One of the silliest parts of using the RPI is that playing teams ranked worse than 300th or so hurts you as much as playing top teams helps you. The quality of your cupcake plays a pretty big role in your non-conference RPI, and as annoying as that is, this schedule seems to take that into account. And hey, while Hawaii is no great shakes on the basketball court, getting a game scheduled in Kansas City is nice.

(And no, Negus Webster-Chan will not be eligible at Hawaii yet.)

Date Opponent
11/8 SE Louisiana 13-18 281 226
11/12 Southern Illinois 14-17 179 193
11/16 vs. Hawaii (in Kansas City) 17-15 215 210
11/23 ?
11/25 ?
11/28 or 11/29 vs. Nevada (in Las Vegas) 12-19 181 173
11/28 or 11/29 vs. Northwestern (in Las Vegas) 13-19 130 168
12/5 West Virginia 13-19 125 147
12/7 UCLA 25-10 47 26
12/15 Western Michigan 22-13 147 129
12/21 vs. Illinois (in St. Louis) 23-13 39 40
12/28 at N.C. State 24-11 38 33
1/4 Long Beach State 19-14 178 115

Assuming the two preliminary Vegas opponents aren't, you know, Duke and Marquette or something, it appears this schedule will feature five major-conference opponents and a few mid-majors who have seen success in the last decade or so. There are neither elite nor totally dreadful names here, and as we discussed previously, for the 2013-14 team that's fine. This will be a pretty young squad that is attempting to carve out a new identity in Phil Pressey's absence. It doesn't need a ridiculous non-conference schedule. And the way the schedule gets progressively more difficult was probably by design.

Mizzou will ease into the 2013-14 season with winnable games that aren't total walkovers, then ramp things up as December unfolds. Should be fun.