(MCT) – Tennessee announced the nonconference portion of its 2014-15 men’s basketball schedule Wednesday, and five of the 12 games are against teams that competed in the NCAA tournament this year.
Seven of the 12 will be held at Thompson-Boling Arena. The Volunteers will play Virginia Commonwealth in Annapolis, Md., and North Carolina State in Raleigh and will be among the eight teams in the Orlando Classic.
Highlighting the home schedule are matchups against Kansas State, Butler and Mercer, which upset Duke in the NCAA tournament before losing to the Vols.
“This is a very ambitious nonconference schedule,” first-year Vols coach Donnie Tyndall said in a release, “but I think it will prepare us well for the level of competition we’ll face once Southeastern Conference play begins. Nearly half of the teams we will face were in the NCAA tournament last year, and all of them are extremely well-coached programs.
“I think we’ve put together a schedule our fans will be excited about, and that’s important because we are going to need our fans to be impactful for us this season – both at home and on the road.”
Tennessee will play in the Orlando Classic on Nov. 27, Nov. 28 and Nov. 30. The bracket has yet to be announced, but the field also contains Georgia Tech, Kansas, Marquette, Michigan State, Rhode Island, Rider and Santa Clara.
The Dec. 6 game against Kansas State is part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
Tipoff times have yet to be determined, and the SEC will announce the league schedule later this summer.