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BYU Basketball Non-Conference Schedule For 2023-24 Is Coming Together

May 5, 2023, 1:51 PM | Updated: May 18, 2023, 6:33 pm

BYU Basketball, Jaxson Robinson, Schedule...

BYU basketball non-conference schedule is coming together. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – The outlook for BYU basketball in 2023-24 is beginning to form. BYU has added three players from the transfer portal and keeps its eyes peeled for additional prospects.

While the roster is heading into what appears to be the home stretch, the non-conference schedule is taking shape.

BYU basketball assistant Nick Robinson is in charge of bringing together the schedule. Since Mark Pope became the head coach in 2019, he has always wanted difficult non-conference schedules in an effort to land an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament.

But that was in the WCC.

BYU now sets its sights on the Big 12 Conference. A league that is considered by many around the sport to be the toughest conference in the nation. Those 18 league games will be Quad 1 or, at worst, Quad 2 opportunities for NCAA resume purposes.

So does BYU dumb down the non-conference slate? It won’t be the gauntlet of schedules they’ve pieced together out of the league in recent seasons. But there’s still going to be challenging games on the slate. We’re beginning to see signs of how this schedule is coming together.

With 18 league games, that leaves around 13 non-conference games to schedule.

Here’s what BYU has so far for the upcoming season.

San Diego State

Reported date: November 10, 2023

Location: Marriott Center

Rival San Diego State rolls into the Marriott Center for another year. The Aztecs played in the National Championship Game last season before falling to UConn. BYU coach Mark Pope and SDSU’s Brian Dutcher have loved playing this series annually. Will it continue after this season? That’s to be determined.

The real question is, will this become a matchup that one day turns into a Big 12 game?

Morgan State

Date: November 18, 2023

Location: Marriott Center

Morgan is an HBCU program from the MEAC. They finished 15-16 last season.

Utah

Reported date: December 9, 2023

Location: Jon M. Huntsman Center

Mark Pope has won the last three after losing the first rivalry game in his tenure as head coach. Two of which have been against current Utes head coach Craig Smith. On multiple occasions, Pope has expressed that he wants to continue the BYU-Utah basketball series annually as BYU moves into the Big 12.

Vegas Showdown

Tentative dates: Nov. 23-24

Location: Michelob ULTRA Arena, Las Vegas

The Wooden Legacy will be BYU’s MTE (Multi-Team Event) for the 2023-24 season. Wooden Legacy has previously been played in Anaheim and Fullerton, California. But it’s moving from the Golden State and going to Sin City.

BYU will be in a field with Arizona State, NC State, and Vanderbilt. ASU and NC State were both in the NCAA Tournament last season.

Georgia State

Reported date: December 16, 2023

Location: Marriott Center

These are the types of games you will see more often now that BYU is in the Big 12 Conference. The Panthers were 10-21 last year. BYU has played them once before, in 2012.

Evansville

Date: TBD

Location: Marriott Center

When BYU was in the WCC, this type of opponent probably doesn’t end up on BYU’s schedule. Evansville traveling to Provo was first reported by The Courier Press. The Purple Aces last year were 5-27 and 352 in KenPom ratings. But in the Big 12, you can afford to play a team near the bottom of the rankings, and it won’t impact you as you will have many Quad 1 opportunities waiting for you.

Fresno State

Date: December 1

Location: Delta Center (Salt Lake City)

Possible Big 12 opponent in non-conference?

The Big 12 Conference this year will have 14 teams. Four newcomers BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF. Plus, outgoing members Texas and Oklahoma will have one final season before moving on to the SEC.

Round-robin schedules are out in the Big 12 Conference as they plan to stay at 18 teams. This means some Big 12 teams will only see each other once during the conference season. To help give teams a chance to play opponents twice, the Big 12 is considering a neutral site non-conference tournament.

John Williams from the Big 12 Conference spoke with Houston Roundball Review and explained what the league is considering.

“What we’re looking at is doing a preseason tip-off where some of our teams that only play each other once in the Conference will match up,” said John Williams to Houston Roundball Review. “And play four or five games where we kind of tip-off the year and show some of our talent early on and make up that SEC game that would have been a Tier 1 / Tier 2 game and add this one into it. But it won’t count toward the conference standing.”

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Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU moving to the Big 12 Conference on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Basketball Non-Conference Schedule For 2023-24 Is Coming Together