It’s June, which means the Final Four has disappeared from the rearview mirror and Midnight Madness is still months away. But while we suffer through another long offseason, college coaches across the country are scrambling to fill their schedules for the coming season.
Over the last few days, we’ve seen non-conference slates start to filter out, but many teams are still in search of an early-season opponent or two. Some have taken to the basketballtravelers.com message board to post their requests — home-and-homes, guarantees, or even scrimmages — in hopes of finding a match.
Among these requests, which you need a login to view, there are a few mid-majors that should draw interest from around Division I.
Team: Georgia State
Looking for: Two home-and-home series
Resume: KenPom 179 last year, two years removed from this
Perfect for: Mid-major programs looking for a multi-year challenge. It’d be an RPI booster for teams hoping to win one-bid leagues and position themselves for an upset in March. Looking at you, Winthrop and Belmont.
Team: Murray State
Looking For: Offering three home guarantees and a home-and-home series to start in Murray
Resume: Eight straight KenPom top 175 finishes and three trips to the postseason in the last five years.
Guarantees perfect for: Low majors in the Kentucky area that could use some quick cash. These games aren’t meant to be sexy, but could be a nice warmup for league play.
H-H perfect for: I’d say Georgia State, but both programs want to start their series at home. Instead, a team like Chattanooga would work nicely. An upper-tier Missouri Valley team might be interested as well.
Looking for: A local home-and-home beginning in December
Resume: KenPom 168 last year, upset St. Bonaventure in NIT first round
Perfect for: NJIT, which is looking to start a home-and-home in Newark this year. Both are strong teams in bad conferences, and what kind of Staten Islander doesn’t want to escape Staten Island for a night…even if the destination is Newark?
Team: Illinois State
Looking for: Needs a guarantee game on Nov. 20
Resume: Competitive in the always solid Missouri Valley. Consistent threat to make a run to the postseason.
Perfect for: A power conference team needing a winnable game that won’t kill its RPI. The team also shouldn’t be headed to a far-flung Feast Week tournament that starts on Monday or Tuesday, given the Redbirds’ open date. Indiana or Butler could be good fits.
Team: Rhode Island
Looking for: A mid-December home game. Open to a guarantee or home-and-home. Prefer a top-150 opponent.
Resume: Potential top-25 team this year with realistic hopes of winning the Atlantic 10.
Perfect for: A strong local program that would like a return game — maybe Harvard or even UConn, who has traveled to Kingston in the past. If the Rams are happy with a simple guarantee setup, Northeastern or Vermont would be good choices.
Looking for: Needs a mid-December guarantee game
Resume: Finished 101 in KenPom last year and advanced to the second round of the CIT. Also beat Memphis and Ohio State.
Perfect for: Any Texas school from a major conference that thinks it can compete for a tournament bid. The game might not sell a ton of tickets, but SMU sells out almost every game anyway, so the Mustangs might be interested.