LOUISVILLE, Ky.-The Bellarmine University men's basketball team announced its 2016-17 regular season schedule today with the Knights playing 28 regular season games and an exhibition season that could be the envy of any Division II program in the country.
The Knights will open with the exact same exhibition opponents as they faced last year: the Cincinnati Bearcats (Nov. 2), the Indiana Hoosiers (Nov. 5) and the Louisville Cardinals (Nov. 7).
The regular season schedule features the always rigorous Great Lakes Valley Conference slate along with non-conference games against some the top teams in Division II. One of the highlights of the schedule is an appearance in the inaugural Small College Basketball Hall of Fame Classic in Evansville on Nov. 18 and 19.
Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport is excited for the challenges awaiting his team in the 2016-17 season. "This schedule is tremendous from beginning to end," he said. "The facts tell you all you need to know. At Cincinnati, at Indiana, at Louisville--three of the finest, well-coached, hardest playing teams in all of college basketball, all on the road in six days!"
Davenport added, "Seven of our first eight regular season games are away from Knights Hall against great competition." The teams they'll play over that span include:
- Saginaw Valley (2016's Midwest Regional Champion) on Nov. 11
- Northwood University (strong team from the GLIAC) on Nov. 12
- Alabama Huntsville (returning 3 starters from last year's 25-8 NCAA regional runner-up) on Nov. 18
- Florida Southern (the 2015 National Champion) on Nov. 19
- Two GLVC road games (at Illinois Springfield and McKendree) on Dec. 1 and 3
- Christian Brothers (one the best-coached teams in the country) on Dec. 7.
Bellarmine will host four non-conference games, entertaining Ohio Valley (Nov. 23), Midway (Dec. 10), Kentucky State (Dec. 16) and Martin Methodist (Dec. 17).
The Knights close their non-conference schedule on New Year's Eve with another colossal matchup, traveling to Harrogate, Tennessee to face the Railsplitters of Lincoln Memorial--last season's national runner-up.
Davenport said, "The remainder of the schedule is 16 games in the best basketball conference in the country. This is without a doubt the toughest schedule in my 12 years at Bellarmine!"
The GLVC postseason tournament will open on Feb. 26 at campus sites, except for the top four seeds which will receive byes. The remaining GLVC Championship will be played March 2-5 at the Ford Center In Evansville. The NCAA tournament will be held March 11-25 with the Elite 8 being held in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.