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Michigan finalizes non-conference men’s basketball schedule for 2023-24

Wolverines add matchups with Long Beach State, Eastern Michigan and McNeese State to lineup including St. John’s and the Battle 4 Atlantis

Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Dug McDaniel makes a pass in the NIT last season.

Michigan filled out its non-conference slate for this basketball year, confirming three home games against Long Beach State, Eastern Michigan and McNeese State.

Those games are added to a non-conference schedule already including UNC-Asheville, Youngstown State, St. John’s, Oregon, Florida and the Battle 4 Atlantis.

While the new additions are mid-majors, many are potential tournament teams. Long Beach State returns most of its roster from last year and added former four-star point guard Isa Silva from Stanford, making them a strong Big West contender. McNeese State just hired former LSU head coach Will Wade, who won an SEC championship with the Tigers before being fired for recruiting violations. UNC-Asheville finished at the top of the Big South last year, making the NCAA tournament, and will be one of the top contenders again this season.

St. John’s, Michigan’s opponent for the Gavitt Games, is one of the Wolverines’ only true road non-conference games, played at Madison Square Garden. St. John’s is entering their first season under new head coach Rick Pitino. St. John’s was a middle-of-the-pack team in the Big East last year, but Pitino took Iona to the NCAA tournament twice and won either the MAAC tournament or regular season title in each of his three years, making them a strong bet for a turnaround season.

Michigan will also play in the Battle 4 Atlantis on Nov. 22-24. While next year’s bracket has not yet been revealed, the field includes North Carolina, Villanova, Arkansas, Memphis, Texas Tech, Stanford, and Northern Iowa.

The non-conference schedule will provide a big test early on for a team looking to rebound after missing the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2015. The schedule gives the Wolverines a ton of opportunities to build a tournament resume early on and prepare them for what should be another tough Big Ten schedule.