11 top non-conference games in men’s college basketball, ranked by Andy Katz

These games feature teams who don’t share the same conference, but are perennial powerhouses in their respective conferences. And, these games have the potential to be previews for meetings we will see in postseason action. 

1. Kentucky at Gonzaga, Nov. 20: This will be a tremendous test for both Final Four contenders and a matchup of the two player-of-the-year favorites, reigning Naismith winner Oscar Tshiebwe and Drew Timme. 

👀: Oscar Tshiebwe, Armando Bacot and more named to 2023 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award watch list

2. North Carolina at Indiana, Nov. 30: The headline ACC-Big Ten Challenge game will test the Tar Heels after a loaded PK85 event in Portland and give the Hoosiers a chance to move into the top five.

3. Kansas at Kentucky, Jan. 28: Two of the top programs in the country will both be in the chase for the title. This should be a good barometer. 

4. Indiana at Kansas, Dec. 17: Mike Woodson wanted to challenge his team and this game will be one of the best atmospheres this season. The Phog will be rocking from opening tip to close. 

5. Duke vs. Kansas, Nov. 15, State Farm Champions Classic, Gainbridge Fieldhouse: Jon Scheyer’s first major test will be in the first marquee events of the season. This game will be an NBA scout’s dream. 

SUPREME SENIORS: 11 impact seniors in men’s college basketball, ranked by Andy Katz

6. Gonzaga vs. Michigan State, Nov. 11, Armed Forces Classic, USS Abraham Lincoln: The event returns to an active aircraft carrier back where it started on 11-11-11. This will be a special event and will also give the Spartans the early-season test they need — before playing Kentucky a few days later in Indianapolis. 

7. UCLA vs. Kentucky, Dec. 17, CBS Sports Classic, Madison Square Garden: The Bruins are the Pac-12 favorites and a Final Four contender. Kentucky will be primed for another big-time, marquee matchup. 

8. Michigan vs. Kentucky, Dec. 4, London, U.K., O2 Arena: This game at the O2 Arena had to be postponed due to the pandemic. Now college basketball will make a splash in the U.K. with two of the biggest brands in the sport. 

9. Indiana at Xavier, Nov. 18, Gavitt Games: The Cintas Center will be a crazed atmosphere. The Hoosiers play this game two weeks before hosting Carolina. If Xavier wins this game then they could be billed as the Big East favorite over Creighton. 

2023 MARCH MADNESS: Men’s NCAA tournament schedule, dates, times

10. Gonzaga vs. Baylor, Dec. 2, Sioux Falls, S. D., Sanford Pentagon: This rematch of the 2021 national title game will once again have major ramifications. The Zags and Bears will look back on this game as a barometer on their seasons. 

11. Houston at Virginia, Dec. 17: The Cougars are a Final Four contender. The Cavaliers have their core back and determined to be back in the Dance. Defense will rule this game. We should know a lot more about both schools after this one.

Leave a Comment