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Dempsey optimistic about non-conference schedule

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VESTAL, N.Y. – Binghamton men's basketball has released its 13-game non-conference slate for the 2015-16 season. As announced on the school's Twitter feed, the slate includes six home games, four games against postseason teams and nine games against opponents with 15 or more wins from a year ago.

The marquee game is a Dec. 5 tilt against 2015 Final Four participant Michigan State in East Lansing. The Spartans went 27-12 in 2014-15 and won four games in the NCAA Tournament before losing to Duke in the national semifinals. It will be a first-ever meeting between the two programs and BU's third game against a Big Ten school (0-2 vs. Michigan). The game will also mark the second time in program history that the Bearcats have faced a reigning Final Four team. In 2003, BU played defending NCAA champion Syracuse.

After a home exhibition game on Nov. 6 (SUNY Cobleskill), BU will start the 2015-16 season on the road Nov. 13 at St. Bonaventure. The Atlantic 10-member Bonnies won 18 games and finished in the top half of the conference standings.

Binghamton welcomes Army for its home opener on Nov. 15. Former America East foe Boston University will also visit the Events Center in November (Nov. 28).

The tough December slate features four consecutive games against postseason teams – three of them on the road. On the heels of the Michigan State game, BU plays at first-time opponent Oakland (Dec. 7), which finished third in the Horizon League and advanced to the CIT. On Dec. 12, BU meets fellow SUNY Center Buffalo, which won 23 games and reached the NCAA Tournament last winter. A first-ever game against St. Francis (Pa.) (Dec. 16), a CIT participant, wraps up the gauntlet of postseason teams.
Another first-time foe, Florida International (FIU), visits the Events Center on Dec. 22. A home game against Mt. St. Mary's on Dec. 29 closes out the calendar year.

In January, BU plays at Penn (Jan. 2) before the America East schedule begins on Jan. 6.

2015-16 Schedule Notes
- 13 games (6 home, 7 away)
- Four vs. 2015 postseason teams (Michigan State, Buffalo, Oakland, St. Francis, Pa.)
- Nine opponents with 15+ wins from 2014-15
- Reigning Final Four team Michigan State (7 Final Fours in last 17 years, most of any school in that span; 18 straight NCAA appearances, 3rd longest current streak)
- Four first-time opponents (Michigan State, Oakland, Florida International, St. Francis)
- Home exhibition against SUNY Cobleskill on Nov. 6
- Season opener Nov. 13 at St. Bonaventure
- Home opener on Nov. 15 vs. Army
- Games against traditional NYS rivals Cornell, Colgate, St. Bonaventure, Buffalo, Army
- Games against teams from Big Ten, Atlantic 10, Conference USA, MAC, Horizon, Ivy (2), Patriot (3), Northeast (3)

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)