The Xavier Musketeers appear to be loading up on their nonconference slate after it was reported earlier this week that they were scheduled to face the Baylor Bears of the Big 12 Conference. On Thursday, a set of reports surfaced that indicate the Musketeers are set to face two foes from the Pac-12 and Missouri Valley Conference.
CBS Sports college basketball insider Jon Rothstein is reporting that Xavier will be starting two more home-and-home series this coming fall. The Musketeers will reportedly be facing the Utah Utes and Northern Iowa Panthers, two teams who made the NCAA Tournament in 2016 and two programs who have established themselves of late as quality programs in the country.
Xavier and Utah will start a home-and-home series next season at the Cintas Center, source told @CBSSports. Return game in SLC in 17-18.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 26, 2016
Xavier and Northern Iowa will start a home-and-home series next year at Cintas Center, source told @CBSSports. Return game at UNI in 17-18.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 26, 2016
If these reports do indeed come into fruition, it behooves the Musketeers in that their nonconference schedule is propped up quite a bit with the additions of the Utes and Panthers. Though Utah will miss Jakob Poeltl, they should still be a quality opponent for Xavier by season's end.
Meanwhile, Northern Iowa has typically been one of the best teams in the MVC but may look a little different after losing Wes Washpun, NCAA Tournament hero Paul Jesperson and Matt Bohannon to graduation. They still will have Bennett Koch, Jeremy Morgan and Klint Carlson though as well as Wyatt Lohaus and Ted Friedman returning, with Koch and Morgan being two of their top contributors from their 23-win team a season ago.
The Musketeers won't have much familiarity with either of these opponents should they match up. Dating back to the 1949-50 season, they have never faced the Panthers or the Utes according to Sports-Reference.com's Matchup Finder. So, some history will be made if the two teams meet on the court in Cincinnati this upcoming season.