A Look at Auburn Basketball's 2008-2009 Schedule
Auburn Men's Basketball finalized their schedule at some point recently. Although the official Auburn athletics website hasn't published it yet, the 2008-2009 schedule has been published in the programs sold at the football games. Here it is:
11-7-08 v Tuskegee (EXB) 7:00 CT
11-14-08 v Missouri State 7:00 CT
11-19-08 v Mercer 7:00 CT
11-22-08 v George Washington 1:00 CT
11-25-08 @ Dayton (Chicago) 7:00 CT
11-29-08 @ Northern Iowa (Chicago) 4:30 CT
12-3-08 @ Xavier TBA
12-6-08 v Louisiana-Monroe 1:00 CT
12-20-08 @ Virginia TBA
12-22-08 v Alabama State 7:00 CT
12-29-08 v Alabama A&M 7:00 CT
12-31-08 v Southeastern Louisiana TBA
1-3-09 v Tulane 4:30 CT
1-10-09 @ South Carolina TBA
1-14-09 v Florida 7:00 CT TV:Raycom
1-17-09 v Alabama TBA
1-21-09 @ Kentucky 8:00 CT TV:Raycom
1-24-09 @ Arkansas 12:00 CT TV:Raycom
1-27-09 v Texas-Pan American 7:00 CT
1-31-09 v Vanderbilt 1:00 CT
2-4-09 @ Ole Miss 7:00 CT
2-7-09 v Tennessee 12:00 CT
2-11-09 v Arkansas 7:00 CT
2-14-09 v Mississippi State TBA
2-18-09 @ Georgia TBA
2-21-09 @ LSU TBA
2-25-09 v Ole Miss 7:00 CT
2-28-09 @ Mississippi State TBA
3-3-09 @ Alabama 8:00 CT TV:ESPN
3-7-09 v LSU TBA
The non-conference part of this year's schedule is fairly challenging, considering the projected success of this team. To me personally, five of their first six games (not counting the exhibition against Tuskegee) could be losses.
Missouri State and Northern Iowa come from the always strong Missouri Valley Conference, while Dayton, George Washington, and Xavier consistently make runs at the NCAA Tourney from the Atlantic-10. The second half of the non-conference schedule is considerably easier, as Virginia is the only fearsome school remaining. Keep in mind that Tulane beat Auburn last year.
The conference schedule is always tough. Auburn plays each Western division team once at home and once on the road, and plays each Eastern division team once on a rotationally year-by-year system.
Teams like Georgia, South Carolina, and LSU seem to be generally on Auburn's level. The problem is that those three teams only make up four of Auburn's 16 conference games. Teams like Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State will make it hard on the Tigers.
The one positive is that the gap between teams in the SEC is not that large. Auburn has the talent to keep up with almost any team on their schedule. It will be a matter of finishing games in the second half and finding consistent offensive weapons that will determine where the Tigers will finish.
My personal goal for Auburn is anywhere between 6-10 and 8-8 in the SEC, with anywhere from 15 to 19 wins overall. That would put them on the bubble for a postseason bid.
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