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MAAC Non-Conference Schedule Breakdown: Manhattan College Jaspers

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A closer look at the Two-Time Defending MAAC Champions' 2015-2016 Non-Conference Schedule.

Manhattan Head Coach Steve Masiello
Manhattan Head Coach Steve Masiello
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Leading up to the MAAC conference schedule release - due out sometime in mid-September - we will breakdown each of the 11 MAAC School's non-conference schedules. To kick off this series, we will take a look at the non-conference schedule of the defending back-to-back MAAC Champions, Manhattan College. The Jaspers are coming off their second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament which ended with a disappointing loss to fellow mid-major Hampton in the first round.

The Jaspers 2015-2016 season will include 10 Non-Conference matchups, including 1 exhibition, and 5 games on their home court at Draddy Gymnasium.  The schedule also includes 8 games against teams that are covered by Mid Major Madness. The Jaspers will throw on the Kelly Green and White Uniforms for the first time for a November 9th exhibition game against Division-II challenger, Bridgeport, in Riverdale. One week later they will head out to the West Coast to take on Saint Mary's of the West Coast Conference. The Jaspers will then return home for two games against fellow mid-majors Bucknell on November 21st and George Mason on November 25th.

The Jaspers will then play 108th Annual Battle of the Bronx Game, which returns to Rose Hill Gymnasium on the Campus of Fordham University on November 28th, followed by another local NYC Foe in Columbia on December 9th at Draddy Gym. Following the NYC stretch of games the Jaspers will take a trip to Volunteer State to take on Memphis on December 12th before heading home for their final Non-Conference home game of the season against St. Francis Brooklyn two days later.

Their final non-conference road trip of the year will have the Jaspers in Baltimore on December 20 to face Morgan State, and Richmond Kentucky on December 29 to take on Eastern Kentucky.

Here is a closer look at each of the games:

Bridgeport

  • Date: Monday, November 9th
  • Time: 7:00pm
  • 2014-15 Results: 24-7 (17-3, ECC - DII)
  • Against Manhattan: N/A
  • Last NCCA Appearance: N/A

At Saint Mary's

  • Date: Monday November 16th
  • Time: TBD
  • 2014-15 Results: 21-10 (13-5, WCC)
  • Against Manhattan: 0-1 (Last Meeting 1991-1992)
  • Last NCCA Appearance: 2013

Bucknell

  • Date: Saturday November 21st
  • Time: 7:00pm
  • 2014-15 Results: 19-15 (13-5, Patriot)
  • Against Manhattan: 2-2 (Last Meeting 1988-1989)
  • Last NCCA Appearance: 2013

George Mason

  • Date: Wednesday, November 25th
  • Time: 7:00pm
  • 2014-15 Results: 9-22 (4-14, A-10)
  • Against Manhattan: 4-0 (Last Meeting 2014-2015)
  • Last NCCA Appearance: 2011

At Fordham Rams

  • Date: Saturday, November 28th
  • Time: TBD
  • 2014-15 Results: 10-21 (4-14, A-10)
  • Against Manhattan: 51-56 (Last Meeting 2014-2015)
  • Last NCCA Appearance: 1992

Columbia

  • Date: Wednesday, December 9th
  • Time: 7:00pm
  • 2014-15 Results: 13-15 (5-9, IVY)
  • Against Manhattan: 15-9 (Last Meeting 2013-2014)
  • Last NCCA Appearance: 1968

At Memphis

  • Date: Saturday, December 12th
  • Time: TBD
  • 2014-15 Results: 18-14 (10-8, American)
  • Against Manhattan: 2-1 (Last Meeting 2006-2007)
  • Last NCCA Appearance: 2014

St. Francis Brooklyn

  • Date: Monday, December 14th
  • Time: 7:00pm
  • 2014-15 Results: 23-12 (15-3, NEC)
  • Against Manhattan: 19-51 (Last Meeting 2008-2009)
  • Last NCCA Appearance: (None)

At Morgan State

  • Date: Sunday, December 20th
  • Time: 1:00pm
  • 2014-15 Results: 7/24 (5-11, MEAC)
  • Against Manhattan: 1-2 (Last Meeting 2014-2015)
  • Last NCCA Appearance: 2010

At Eastern Kentucky

  • Date: Tuesday, December 29th
  • Time: 2:00pm
  • 2014-15 Results: 21-12 (11-5, OVC)
  • Against Manhattan: 0-1 (Last Meeting 1946-1947)
  • Last NCCA Appearance: 2014
This year's non-conference schedule is full of several very winnable games for the Jaspers. They will take on opponents from 7 other mid major conferences in the WCC, Patriot, A-10, IVY, NEC, MEAC, and OVC. The average RPI of opponents is a modest 179.8 (based on the final RPI standings from last season) which won't likely get the Jaspers consideration for their second ever at-large bid to the tournament, but should provide them a winning record heading into MAAC Play. Lets take a look at the top 3 key match-ups for the Jaspers in non-conference play:

1. Saint Mary's

The Jaspers trip out to Moraga California will be a true test for the Jaspers. Playing your first game on the road is tough - Traveling to the west coast makes it even tougher - But taking on one of the most consistently successful mid-majors in the country makes it just brutal. St. Mary's has been qualifies for the NCAA tournament or the NIT each of the last 8 seasons. This younger Jasper team have their work cut out for them, but a season opening win on the west coast against a team of this caliber could set the tone for another Jaspers run.

2. Fordham

Manhattan will once again play their local archival Fordham Rams in the 108th Battle of the Bronx game. In one of the longest standing rivalry games in the country, Manhattan will look to take a 57-51 lead in the all-time series. The Battle of The Bronx game was moved to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn last season in an attempt to seat more fans and promote the game to a larger NYC audience. While there were more fans in attendance (including former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani - an alum of both schools) the environment in a large arena was not nearly the same as a sold out, standing room only crowd at Draddy or Rose Hill. All-in-all, The Battle of the Bronx, in Brooklyn, just didn't feel right, which is why it will be held back where it belongs this year - in The Bronx. This is a must win for the Jaspers from a tradition stand-point as well as a confidence booster heading into the MAAC conference games.

3. Memphis

Manhattan's only true 'High-Major' test this season comes via a trip to Tennessee to take on The University of Memphis, a school with a very celebrated basketball tradition. Manhattan will look to even up the series between the two schools at 2-2 in their first meeting since the 2006-2007 season, when the #14 Tigers took down the Jaspers 77-59 in Memphis. Worth noting, Memphis head coach Josh Pastner played for the Arizona Wildcats in the 1997 National Championship game against Steve Masiello and the Kentucky Wildcats. Arizona won the game 84-79 which may serve as some extra motivation for coach Masiello in his first showdown with Pastner since the 1979 championship. If the Jaspers could pick off the Tigers in Memphis it could bode well for their seeding come tournament time should they manage to conquer the MAAC for the third consecutive year.