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Michigan Basketball's 2014-15 Schedule: Pretty Advantageous.

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Last week UM's bball schedule for next year was released. How does it look?

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Non-Conference

- vs. Wayne State
- vs. Hillsdale College
- vs. Bucknell (Legends Classic Regional)
- vs. Detroit (Legends Classic Regional)

Four warm up games against four teams Michigan should dispatch easily.  Moving along.

- vs. Oregon (Legends Classic)
- vs. VCU or Villanova (Legends Classic)

Michigan will get its first test of the season in Brooklyn at the Legends Classic.  Oregon finished the year 29th in Kenpom's rankings, although four core players a year ago were seniors.  VCU still brings Shaka Smart's heavy press defense, something that could stymie a young Wolverine team, and Villanova will once again be a solid opponent.  Michigan should be favored to win this thing, but it won't be easy, especially if the team has early growing pains.

- vs. Nichols State
- vs. Syracuse

Michigan will get a visit from Syracuse, and that game could pose a significant problem for Michigan.  Last time the Wolverines beat the Orange, it was thanks to a good interior game from Mitch McGary.  Michigan has the weapons to shoot over the 2-3 zone, but Syracuse is good at forcing teams into bad shots.  This is a big tourney resume builder.

- vs. NJIT
- vs. Eastern Michigan
- at Arizona

This is going to be the only chance for Michigan to grow up in a hostile environment before the Big Ten season starts.  Arizona won't have two of its top players from a year ago (Nick Johnson and Aaron Gordon), but talent remains and this game will be played in a notoriously tough venue three time zones away from home.

- vs. SMU
- vs. Coppin State

Big Ten Season

- vs. Illinois
- at Purdue
- at Penn State
- vs. Minnesota
- at Ohio State

Michigan gets a nice start to its conference season, getting Illinois at home and traveling to two of the conference's bottom teams in the first week and a half of the season.  Minnesota should once again be manageable at home and Ohio State has a few questions to answer but will still provide an intimidating environment.

- vs. Northwestern
- at Rutgers

Woof.

- vs. Wisconsin
- vs. Nebraska
- at Michigan State
- vs. Iowa

One of the features of Michigan's recent Big Ten schedule has been hellacious stretches against very good teams.  This year Michigan has one of those, but it does get a little easier with three of the four tough games coming at home.  Michigan also faces three of these teams (Wisconsin, Nebraska and Iowa) just once, and all of those games happen at Crisler.  If you want a big leg up in Big Ten scheduling, taking the Kohl Center, Carver-Hawkeye, and the suddenly imposing Pinnacle Bank Arena out of the equation is a good start.

- at Indiana
- at Illinois
- vs. Michgian State
- vs. Ohio State

If Michigan makes it through the previous stretch, the trips to Indiana and Illinois followed by visits from Michigan's two main rivals could be the deciding stretch run in the Big Ten race.

- at Maryland
- at Northwestern
- vs. Rutgers

Nothing to see here.

Teams played twice: MSU, OSU, Illinois, Northwestern, Rutgers

Teams played once: Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Purdue, Penn State

Thoughts

If you were drawing up the perfect schedule for a young Michigan team looking to replace a lot of its scoring as well as working in a few new options on the interior, this would be close to it.  Michigan gets an exorbitant amount of its non-conference games at home with one tough road game in the latter half of the non-con season.  A couple losses early is to be expected, but Michigan should win at least 10 of its 13 games barring any major collapses or disappointments.  Unbeaten in the non-conference is on the table.

Once the conference season starts, Michigan gets to dodge trips to Wisconsin, Nebraska and Iowa while getting to play Rutgers and Northwestern twice.  Even Michigan's two rivals (MSU and OSU) look to possibly have down years.

There is a long way to go until the season even starts, but this is an encouraging sign that Michigan could have another successful year.