<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Tigers & <a href="https://twitter.com/coachbrucepearl">@coachbrucepearl</a> face another challenging non-conference schedule in 2015-16 <a href="http://t.co/96cGBiW0ZX">http://t.co/96cGBiW0ZX</a> <a href="http://t.co/jDnGaQV3m5">pic.twitter.com/jDnGaQV3m5</a></p>— Auburn Basketball (@AuburnMBB) <a href="https://twitter.com/AuburnMBB/status/608734553046396928">June 10, 2015</a></blockquote>
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The UAB, Xavier, and Oklahoma State games were all known quantities prior to this announcement, as was the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii. Some of the other games to fill out Auburn's 2015-16 non-conference schedule are now settled, as well.
UAB to begin the year is huge as an in-state game and because UAB is very good. They made the NCAA Tournament and made a pretty decent run, as well. Colorado will give Auburn a return trip after last season's midnight shellacking at the hands of the Buffaloes. Then November is closed out with home games against Georgia Southern and Northwestern State.
Northwestern State finished 3rd in the Southland Conference, last season. Georgia Southern finished second in the Sun Belt and just missed out on defeating Georgia State for the Sun Belt's spot in the NCAA Tournament. Y'all know I can't resist talking about the Eagles a bit, so here's a little inside info on them. The Eagles' basketball team has been stagnant to awful for a while. Mark Byington came in last season and in his first year with the team and first year in the Sun Belt almost had them in the NCAA Tournament. I suspect the Eagles will be a pretty good team and a decent early season test for Coach Pearl's squad.
Other than a December 15th game against Mercer, the Tigers will spend all of December on the road. They'll play at Coastal Carolina, against Middle Tennessee State in Nashville, and will return the home-and-home with Xavier from last season. Xavier was a very good team who had a good run in the tournament, so you know they'll be looking for some revenge against the Tigers.
The Diamond Head Classic will be the Tigers' last chance to get some tuning up before conference play begins. The teams taking part in that tournament are Hawaii, BYU, Harvard, New Mexico State, Northern Iowa, Oklahoma, and Washington State. It will last from the 22nd right up through Christmas Day.
In a rare instance of a break during SEC play, the Tigers will take on Oklahoma State on January 30th in Auburn Arena as part of the SEC - Big 12 Challenge. It won't be an easy break in SEC play, though, as the Cowboys have a pretty good history with basketball.
So that's the non-conference slate. What do y'all think? Too easy, just right, or too tough? Personally, I'm going to say it's just right.