As Mike pointed out yesterday, Louisville has released its full basketball schedule, including times for all games. This leads me to one of my favorite annual rituals: putting each game on my calendar so that I can over-analyze them and plan my life accordingly. Some thoughts:
- It got swallowed up in the excitement of the Yum Center last year, but the pacing of the early season games is so much better than it was at Freedom Hall. Starting w/ this week’s Red/White game, there’s one game/week until mid-November (let that soak in for a minute), and then two/week pretty consistently thereafter. Definitely beats having to schedule three games in three days to make way for the tractor pull.
- Only two potential football conflicts on the calendar: on November 19th (basketball at Butler, football at UConn) and on November 25th (basketball at home against Ohio, football on the road against USF). The 19th is a Saturday, so unless the football game is another nooner (thanks Krag), the conflict shouldn’t be serious. The 25th is a Friday, making the conflict essentially inevitable.
- Some great road trip possibilities for the fans: Butler on 11/19 in Indy, Kentucky on 12/31 in Lexington, and Cincinnati on 2/23. It’s always nice to get to road games in less than 90 minutes.
- Other home games to make sure you have on your calendar: vs Vanderbilt on 12/2 at 8:30p; vs Memphis on 12/17 at 4p; vs Connecticut on 2/6 at 7p; vs Syracuse on 2/13 at 7p; vs Pitt on 2/26 at 2p.
- Depaul Day watch: 1/14 at 4p and 2/18 at 12p.
- WTF scheduling: Louisville plays at Marquette at 3:30 in the afternoon on 1/16. I get that that’s MLK day, but the majority of the world will be working regardless. I’d expect that stadium to be dead that afternoon.
- Winnable games to be nervous about: 11/27 against Long Beach State (scary team with a Wooden Award candidate in Casper Ware; short turnaround time for UofL with Ohio just two days before; big game against Vanderbilt next up); 2/4 at Rutgers (only game that week lends itself to a slow start, plus UConn coming to the Yum two days later).
- Toughest three game stretch: probably UConn (2/6), @ WVU (2/11), Syracuse (2/13). Runner-up: Georgetown (12/28), @ Kentucky (12/31), @ St. John’s (1/3).
- Easiest three game stretch (conference play only): Obviously life in the Big East is never easy, but @ Providence (1/10), Depaul (1/14) and at Marquette (1/16) is about as stress-free as it comes.