Here is the second installment of previews, this time for the home games. These are the times that we get to ride on the opposition an hour before the game starts, the times that we allow the RC to be a feared place to travel, and the times that we get to act like complete idiots (sometimes) on national TV.
The Garbage Plates (in a good way)
11/29 vs. Niagara Purple Eagles at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY
This is my favorite of the non-conference schedule. Bonas will be back to play a game in Buffalo, and many students/alum will attend. It helps that the game is on the Saturday of Thanksgiving Break for students and it should hopefully have the feel of a home game. Niagara may not be as strong of a team this year, as Antoine Mason (2nd highest scorer in the country) has fled to Auburn. Who knows how far they may drop, seeing that they were already 7-26 and 3-17 in the MAAC last year. However, the game is an interesting one as the series has been close over recent history. Bonas won at NU 74-72 last year, won 80-75 at the Blue Cross Arena in ’12-’13, and won 72-70 at NU in ’11-’12. A rivalry that has gone down to the wire like that the past three years is sure to create some hype. People are questioning the George Mason game being played in Rochester; you will not hear anyone criticizing Niagara in Buffalo.
RC Café Meal
12/3 vs. Buffalo Bulls
The final rivalry game, and probably the one that gets the least love. This will be the last game for the students for over a month in the RC. Javon McCrea has moved on, but I see Will Regan filling his hole nicely. UB shot a lot of the 3-ball to beat us last year, going 8-23, not to mention us shooting 1-10 from that range. I generally felt as if that was the way to get after Bonas last year, and hope to see it improved upon. This should be a good fun rivalry game, right before the long break.
The Hickey Hamburgers (not a good thing)
11/15 vs. Dartmouth Big Green
This would fall under the category of usual tune-up game for the Brown and White. Think Abilene Christian last year or Bethune Cookman two years ago. I would hope that Bonas could handle Dartmouth, without much of a scare which came in the first half of games like this last year. We were up only eight at the half against Abilene Christian and it was 35-30 a bit into the second half against South Dakota. Darmouth went 5-9 in a bad Ivy League last year, and we are the second biggest name on their non-conference schedule (Penn State).
11/25 vs. Jackson State Tigers
If you uttered “Who?” when you first saw this, you are not an owl. They would be located in Jackson, Mississippi (ahh…I get it) and play in the SWAC. Their representative would have been Texas Southern last year in the tournament. They played in a first round 16-seed game and lost to Cal Poly. Oh you didn’t catch that game? Yeah, me either. Good game to have when probably not many students will be in the RC, as Thanksgiving Break starts that day.
12/22 vs. Maryland-East Shore Hawks
If you sounded like an owl again, I cannot blame you. I am not too sure where we find these colleges, but this is a last tune-up game for the year. They finished dead last in the MEAC last year, going 6-24 along with 4-12…so that’s good. They are a popular choice for a tune-up game as they play Nova, VCU, Duquesne, and Virginia Tech. Build some confidence going into Christmas.