College Basketball 2011-12 Preview: 10 Toughest Non-Conference Schedules

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College Basketball 2011-12 Preview: 10 Toughest Non-Conference Schedules
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Part of the beauty of college basketball, especially when compared to college football, is the ability for teams to schedule heavyweight non-conference opponents. While football teams try to protect their undefeated records by trucking in FCS opponents with little shot of pulling off the upset, basketball's royalty routinely face off before getting into the meat of their conference schedules.

Scheduling major opponents can enhance any team's credibility with the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, and a few huge wins can rescue a team that gets upset in its conference tournament. Each year, a few teams step up and prove that they're not afraid to hunt big game.

These 10 teams will have tremendous tournament resumes...if they can survive their early-season meat grinders.

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