* Tip-off times and TV designations for all games have yet to be determined
INDIANAPOLIS – The 2014-15 Butler men's basketball non-conference schedule features seven regular season home games at Hinkle Fieldhouse, two games against Big Ten foes, and a trip to the Bahamas to participate in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament over Thanksgiving.
"We are excited about our non-conference schedule," Head Coach Brandon Miller stated. "The first five games we suit up for will be in the newly renovated Hinkle Fieldhouse and our players along with the coaching staff couldn't be more excited about that."
The Bulldogs will face three teams that reached post-season play a year ago with games slated against Tennessee, Indiana State and Belmont. The Vols will host Butler on Sunday, Dec. 14 under new head coach Donnie Tyndall. Tennessee is coming off a 24-13 season which included a trip to the Sweet 16 Round of the NCAA Tournament where they were narrowly defeated by Michigan.
Indiana State and Belmont were each able to extend their 2013-14 seasons with trips to the NIT where the 23-11 Sycamores eventually ended the year with a loss to Arkansas. Belmont posted an impressive 26-10 record last season and recorded two NIT wins before ending their campaign with a loss to Clemson. The Bulldogs will play at Indiana State on Wednesday, Dec. 3 and will host Belmont in the final non-conference game of the year on Sunday, Dec. 28.
Head Coach Brandon Miller will prep his team for the start of the regular season by playing two exhibition games in early Nov. against Chicago and Franklin. Fans will be able to take in the newly renovated Hinkle Fieldhouse when the Bulldogs host Tony Hinkle's alma mater (Chicago) on Saturday, Nov. 1. That game along with the Franklin exhibition will set the stage for the 2014-15 regular season home opener vs. Maine on Saturday, Nov. 15. Many different Hinkle renovation rededication events will lead up to the contest vs. the Black Bears.
UT-Chattanooga and Loyola-Maryland are the next two teams to grace the non-conference schedule as the Bulldogs host the Mocs in a mainland bracket game that serves as the fourth contest associated with the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament. That game will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 18 with the Loyola-Maryland game being played that weekend on Saturday, Nov. 22.
Following the Loyola-Maryland game, Butler will compete in one of the nation's premier non-conference tournaments during Thanksgiving week when the team travels to the Bahamas for the 2014 Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament. This year's field is highly competitive with eight of the top programs in the country set to play games from Nov. 26-28.
Butler will have three guaranteed games against a 2014 field that includes five NCAA tournament teams from a year ago, including Wisconsin and Florida who each made the Final Four. The loaded field could realistically have five teams ranked in the preseason Associated Press Top 25. Rounding out the eight-team tournament will be UCLA, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Georgetown, and UAB.
"We recognize that this is arguably the most challenging non-conference schedule in recent memory," Miller added. "Our goal is to continue to schedule top teams from across the nation in order to prepare our team for BIG EAST competition. There is no question this non-conference schedule should accomplish that."
The month of December will get underway with Butler's first true road test of the season coming at Indiana State on Wednesday, Dec. 3. That game will be followed closely by a home contest against the Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday, Dec. 6. Head Coach Chris Collins led the Wildcats to a 14-19 overall record last year, but the team will return two of their top three leading scorers from last year's squad.
Just two days after playing Northwestern, the Bulldogs will stay at Hinkle Fieldhouse to host Kennesaw State on Monday, Dec. 8. The highly anticipated matchup at Tennessee will follow on Sunday, Dec. 14.
The 2014 Crossroads Classic will pit Butler against Indiana and Notre Dame against Purdue at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday, Dec. 20. Established in 2011, the Crossroads Classic is a four-team event that features Butler facing Purdue in odd numbered years and the Bulldogs playing Indiana on even numbered years. Butler is a perfect 3-0 in the Crossroads Classic with two wins over the Boilermakers and one win vs. Indiana during the 2012-13 season when the Hoosiers held the No. 1 ranking in the country.
The final two home games of the non-conference season will be played at home vs. UT-Martin and Belmont. The Dawgs will host the Skyhawks on Monday, Dec. 22 and the Bruins on Sunday, Dec. 28.
Hinkle Fieldhouse will boast many new amenities this season to improve overall fan experience. Upon entry, fans will immediately notice the widened concourses, additional standard and family restrooms, and added concession options.
Hinkle will now feature padded chair-back seats with cup holders in both the lower and middle levels, supplementary ADA seating with elevator access and a new center court LED Video Board. In addition, hospitality in both the Efroymson Family Gym and the Wildman Room will result in increases in size, capacity, and amenities, as well as an adjustment in admission levels.
The athletic department is also excited to offer a few additions to the Priority Points System. These additions will allow Butler fans more ways to earn priority points so we can reward our fans and donors who mean so much to Butler University and our athletic program.
The full 2014-15 Butler men's basketball schedule including BIG EAST contests, tip-off times and TV games will come out once the BIG EAST finalizes the conference schedule. Fans can plan for the BIG EAST Tournament in advance however as the top teams in the conference will meet in Madison Square Garden from March 11-14 to battle for a championship that will lead to an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Please Click Here to view the 2014-15 Butler Men's Basketball Season Ticket Form. The updated form is complete with a seating chart, ticket prices and additional contact information.