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Irish Hoops Release Season Schedule

In the midst of the build up to opening of the football season, the Irish basketball team released their full 2015/16 season schedule.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

While Irish basketball fans knew most of the games on the 2015/16 schedule, there were still a number of non-conference home games left to announce.

Date Day Opponent Venue
Oct 30 Friday St. Francis Fighting Saints (IL) (Ex) Purcell Pavilion
Nov 5 Thursday Caldwell Cougars (Ex) Purcell Pavilion
Nov 13 Friday St. Francis Red Flash (PA) Purcell Pavilion
Nov 17 Tuesday Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers Purcell Pavilion
Nov 21 Saturday UMass-Lowell Riverhawks Purcell Pavilion
Nov 26 Thursday Monmouth Hawks* Orlando
Nov 27 Friday Dayton Flyers/Iowa Hawkeyes* Orlando
Nov 29 Sunday TBA* Orlando
Dec 2 Wednesday @Illinois Illini& State Farm Center
Dec 8 Tuesday Stony Brook Seawolves Purcell Pavilion
Dec 13 Sunday Loyola-Chicago Ramblers Purcell Pavilion
Dec 19 Saturday Indiana Hoosiers# Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Dec 21 Monday Youngstown State Penguins Purcell Pavilion
Dec 29 Tuesday Liberty Flames Purcell Pavilion
Jan 2 Saturday @Virginia Cavilers John Paul Jones Arena
Jan 7 Thursday @Boston College Eagles Conte Center
Jan 9 Saturday Pittsburgh Panthers Purcell Pavilion
Jan 13 Wednesday Georgia Tech Yellowjackets Purcell Pavilion
Jan 16 Saturday @Duke Blue Devils Cameron Indoor Stadium
Jan 20 Wednesday Virginia Tech Hokies Purcell Pavilion
Jan 23 Saturday Boston College Eagles Purcell Pavilion
Jan 28 Thursday @Syracuse Orange Carrier Dome
Jan 31 Sunday Wake Forest Demon Deacons Purcell Pavilion
Feb 3 Wednesday @Miami Hurricanes Bank United Center
Feb 6 Saturday North Carolina Tar Heels Purcell Pavilion
Feb 8 Monday @Clemson Tigers Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Feb 13 Saturday Louisville Cardinals Purcell Pavilion
Feb 20 Saturday @Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets McCamish Pavilion
Feb 24 Wednesday @Wake Forest Demon Deacons Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Feb 27 Saturday @Florida State Seminoles Donald L. Tucker Center
Mar 2 Wednesday Miami Hurricanes Purcell Pavilion
Mar 5 Saturday NC State Wolfpack Purcell Pavilion

*=Advocare Invitational &=ACC/Big Ten Challenge #=Crossroads Classic

At first glance, this year's schedule looks a bit tougher than last year's with multiple tough opponents in Orlando's Advocare Invitational (Iowa or Dayton, then potentially Wichita State), Illinois on the road in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, and Indiana in the Crossroads Classic. Additionally, the bottom of the schedule got a bit more difficult. Last season, ND's RPI was stuck in the 30s for much of the year due to some terrible teams at the bottom of the schedule. The Irish played multiple teams with a 300+ RPI (Binghampton, Grambling State, Coppin State, Chicago State, and Fairleigh Dickenson) in the 14/15 season, and despite blowing most of these teams out by 30+ points, the Strength of Schedule hit probably kept ND from earning a two-seed come March. Using last year's RPI as a guide, this year's schedule has just one 300+ team (Liberty), and two more 250+ opponents (UMass-Lowell and Youngstown State). While teams like Stony Brook (112), Monmouth (178), St. Francis (193), and Loyola-Chicago (87) aren't the most exciting opponents, they are all top 200 opponents that should help the Irish with seeding come March.

In ACC play, the Irish drew relatively easy repeat opponents. Notre Dame will face Boston College, Wake Forest, Miami, and Georgia Tech twice, and the rest of the conference just once. ND does open conference play with a tough game at Virginia, and has road games at Duke and Syracuse in January, but the stretch run is relatively manageable giving ND a chance to build momentum for another run in the ACC Tournament. The home ACC schedule is highlighted by games against Louisville and North Carolina both on Saturdays in early February. Pittsburgh, Miami, and NC State should also be exciting home dates. While the 2015/16 schedule isn't perfect since it lacks a truly exciting OOC home game, it should put the Irish in better position for seeding come March which is a vast improvement over last year's.