One tidbit I missed from Mark Gottfried's press conference earlier in the week: a note that both Louisiana Tech and Boise State will be traveling to Raleigh for non-conference games this winter. Those games come in addition to a road trip to Purdue, a game at Madison Square Garden against West Virginia, plus home games against Tennessee, Cincinnati, and South Florida.
The Volunteers and Bearcats made the NCAAs last season, while Louisiana Tech came up just short, and Boise won 20+ games for the third time in four years. The Bulldogs have won 56 games over the last two seasons. They went to the NIT in both years; Boise reached the NCAAs in 2013.
Have I mentioned that I love the way Mark Gottfried schedules outside the conference? Louisiana Tech finished last year ranked 34th in the Pomeroy Ratings. Tennessee finished seventh (!), Cincy 23rd, WVU 68th, Boise 79th, Purdue 97th, and USF 186th. (State, by the way, was 55th.) There are going to be some tough games in this group, but every single one of them is winnable, and the majority of them probably will look good on State's tournament resume in March.
Circle that Louisiana Tech game, for one, because it has the potential to be all sorts of entertaining.