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2015-16 nonconference schedule analysis: Butler Bulldogs

After having one of the best nonconference schedules in the Big East in 2014-15, the Bulldogs take a step back.

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

2014-15 saw Butler have an absolutely loaded nonconference schedule: Battle 4 Atlantis (North Carolina, Oklahoma, Georgetown), Indiana, Tennessee, and others. While 2015-16's schedule isn't quite that good, there are still a lot of games to be excited for on this schedule.

One of the things that sticks out on Butler's nonconference schedule is that they don't play a true road game until they head to Cincinnati on December 2. They play in Puerto Rico the week before Thanksgiving, but those are neutral site games (against Missouri State Nov. 19, Temple or Minnesota Nov. 20).

In fact, that game against Cincinnati is Butler's only true road nonconference contest. Aside from the games in Puerto Rico and Cincinnati, Butler's only game in the nonconference slate not at Hinkle Fieldhouse is the Crossroads Classic on Dec. 19, in which they'll face Purdue. That game is at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, which is 6.4 miles from Butler's campus. Yes, Butler plays a "neutral site" game closer to their campus than DePaul's home games are to DePaul's campus.

What do all these home games in the nonconference slate mean for the Bulldogs? It means they better take care of business. In their two seasons in the Big East, Butler is 13-0 at Hinkle Fieldhouse in home nonconference games. I don't see that changing this year. Tennessee has the best shot at coming in to Hinkle and knocking off the Bulldogs, but Tennessee's leading scorer from last year, Josh Richardson, who scored 20 in the Vols' win over Butler, is now in the NBA.

So there you have it. Butler's nonconference schedule should be highlighted by the Tennessee and Purdue games, as our Mike Murtaugh discusses here.

Below is a schedule featuring start times and TV information for Butler's 2015-16 nonconference games.

Date Opponent Location Time TV
Oct. 31 Taylor Trojans (Exhibition) Hinkle Fieldhouse 2 p.m.
Nov. 7 Saint Joseph's Pumas (Exhibition) Hinkle Fieldhouse 7 p.m.
Nov. 14 The Citadel Bulldogs Hinkle Fieldhouse 7:30 p.m. FS2
Nov. 19 Missouri State Bears Coliseo Roberto Clemente (Puerto Rico Tip-Off) 1:30 p.m ESPNU
Nov. 20 Temple Owls/Minnesota Golden Gophers Coliseo Roberto Clemente (Puerto Rico Tip-Off) TBD ESPN2
Nov. 22 TBD Coliseo Roberto Clemente (Puerto Rico Tip-Off) TBD TBD
Nov. 28 Southern Illinois-Edwardsville Cougars Hinkle Fieldhouse 5 p.m. FS2
Dec. 2 Cincinnati Bearcats Fifth Third Arena 7 p.m. CBSSN
Dec. 5 Indiana State Sycamores Hinkle Fieldhouse Noon FS1
Dec. 7 Virginia Military Institute Keydets Hinkle Fieldhouse 7 p.m. FSN
Dec. 12 Tennessee Volunteers Hinkle Fieldhouse 2:30 p.m. FS1
Dec. 19 Purdue Boilermakers Bankers Life Fieldhouse 5 p.m. BTN
Dec. 22 Southern Utah Thunderbirds Hinkle Fieldhouse 8:30 p.m. FS2
Dec. 28 IUPUI Jaguars Hinkle Fieldhouse 7 p.m. FS2