By: Greg Levinsky
With classes set to begin in less than a month, it’s time to start thinking about NCAA Athletics. Right on cue, the Boston University men’s basketball team announced its 2018-19 schedule in a release on their website on Wednesday afternoon.
Joe Jones’ eighth campaign at BU begins with seven of the first nine games coming on the road, highlighted by trips to Rutgers and Eastern Michigan.
“Starting with seven of nine games on the road, our schedule was organized in an effort to challenge our program and put us in a position to learn and grow, as we head into conference play,” Jones said. “We are excited to continue longtime rivalries and also renew old ones that date nearly 100 years.”
The non-conference slate includes a home game against Division III Emerson College. The Terriers host five non-conference games and travel for seven.
BU will play Northeastern in the season opener (Nov. 6) for the ninth straight season. There are six common opponents from last year’s non-conference slate including the Huskies. The others are Bethune-Cookman, Albany, UMass Lowell, Elon and New Hampshire. BU went 2-4 against them a season ago, with five of the contests being decided by eight or less points.
BU will also renew an old America East rivalry when Vermont comes to Case Gym for the home opener on Friday, November 9th. The Catamounts have gone 56-14 the last two seasons.
With a 15-16, 10-8 Patriot League mark last season, the Terriers ended the 2017-18 campaign ranked 213 of 351 Division I teams.
Below is the entire season’s schedule with opposing team’s RPI marks in parenthesis.
Nov. 6 @ Northeastern (58)
Nov. 9 vs. Vermont (62)
Nov. 11 vs. Emerson (N/A)
Nov. 14 @ Albany (146)
Nov. 17 @ Eastern Michigan (110)
Nov. 21 @ Drexel (243)
Nov. 23 @ Rutgers (200)
Nov. 28 @ New Hampshire (316)
Dec. 1 @ Elon (209)
Dec. 4 vs. UMass Lowell (293)
Dec. 13 @ Dartmouth (334)
Dec. 15 vs. Nicholls State (147)
Dec. 21 vs. Bethune-Cookman (284)
Average RPI: 195
Jan. 3 @ American (336)
Jan. 6 vs. Bucknell (81)
Jan. 9 vs. Army (280)
Jan. 12 @ Navy (202)
Jan. 16 @ Loyola Maryland (323)
Jan. 19 vs. Colgate (193)
Jan. 21 vs. American (336)
Jan. 26 @ Lehigh (217)
Jan. 30 vs. Holy Cross (265)
Feb. 2 @ Colgate (193)
Feb. 6 vs. Lafayette (312)
Feb. 9 @ Bucknell (81)
Feb. 13 @ Army (280)
Feb. 16 vs. Lehigh (217)
Feb. 18 @ Holy Cross (265)
Feb. 24 vs. Loyola Maryland (323)
Feb. 27 @ Lafayette (312)
Mar. 2 vs Navy (202)
Average RPI: 211 (including BU)
The non-conference schedule is slightly more challenging than conference play, especially at the beginning of the season with tilts against Northeastern, Vermont and Eastern Michigan. Each program factors in as contenders in their respective conferences.
BU’s non-conference opponents average slightly high with an RPI of 195. Northeastern, Vermont, and Albany are the only non-conference opponents who closed last season with an RPI in the top 100, while Bucknell was the lone Patriot League squad to finish higher than 192 in RPI.
The Patriot League had an average RPI of 211 while CBS Sports ranked the Patriot League 27th out of the 32 Division I conferences.
“We have a lot of new faces and look forward to competing against these programs that will give us the type of experience we need to be successful in the PL,” Jones said.
Greg Levinsky can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregLevinsky