The 2014-15 Auburn basketball non-conference schedule will test the team early and often in Bruce Pearl's first season at the helm of the program. The 13-game non-conference schedule will feature 10 teams that played in the post-season a year ago, including each of the first five.
"There is always a balance in knowing you can schedule some wins and knowing you can give your kids some confidence with a good schedule to put yourself in position to make post-season," Pearl said. "This is the formula I've always used."
Below is a complete breakdown of the 2014-15 non-conference schedule. The SEC schedule will be released on Friday.
Nov. 7 | West Alabama at Auburn | Auburn Arena | 8:30 p.m. | TV: TBA Auburn will face West Alabama in an exhibition game a week prior to the season-opener. West Alabama went 17-11 in 2013-14, playing in the NCAA Division II South Regional Tournament, where it was the No. 7 seed.
Nov. 14 | Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Auburn | Auburn Arena | Time: TBA | TV: TBA
Auburn opens the Bruce Pearl campaign against his former team, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, at home as part of the MGM Grand Main Event. UWM played in the Second Round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament after winning the Horizon League Tournament, finishing the year 21-14. The top two scorers off of last year's team have graduated in Jordan Aaron (14.7 points per game) and Kyle Kelm (12.5 ppg) but starters Matt Tiby (12.0 ppg, 6.5 rebounds per game) and Austin Arians (11.1 ppg) both return. This will mark the first meeting between the two schools.
Nov. 18 | Auburn at Colorado | Coors Events Center | 12 a.m. | ESPN2
Auburn will participate in ESPN's 24-hour College Hoops Tip Off Marathon with a midnight CT tip at Colorado. The Buffaloes went 23-12 overall last season, advancing to their third straight NCAA Tournament after finishing in a five-way tie for third place in the Pac-12. Colorado is 60-9 (.870) at home over the last four years, including a 15-0 mark during November. Auburn and Colorado have met just once before, a 78-72 overtime win by Colorado as part of the 1996 Big Island Invitational at Hilo, Hawai'i.
Nov. 21 | Louisiana-Lafayette at Auburn | Auburn Arena | 7 p.m. | TV: TBA
Auburn plays host to Louisiana-Lafayette as part of the MGM Grand Main Event. The Ragin' Cajuns went 23-12 last season, winning the Sun Belt Championship and playing in the NCAA Tournament. Auburn is 5-3 all-time against ULL, with the last meeting coming in 2000 at Auburn.
Nov. 24 | Auburn vs. Tulsa | MGM Grand Garden Arena (Las Vegas) | 10 p.m. | ESPNU
Auburn faces Tulsa in the Heavyweight Bracket of the MGM Grand Main Event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena at Las Vegas. Tulsa went 21-13 last season and played in the NCAA Tournament after finishing in a four-way tie for the Conference-USA regular season title and winning the league tournament. Auburn is 2-0 all-time against Tulsa, with Auburn defeating the Golden Hurricane, 74-55, in the 2009 NIT.
Nov. 26 | Auburn vs. Oklahoma State or Oregon State | MGM Grand Garden Arena (Las Vegas) | 8 p.m. or 10:30 p.m. | ESPN3.com or ESPN2
Auburn concludes the MGM Grand Main Event against either Oklahoma State or Oregon State. Oklahoma State went 21-13 last season, advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season and the 16th time in the past 24 seasons. Last season the Cowboys averaged 80.2 points per game while allowing just 69.6 ppg. OSU lost two players to the NBA Draft in sophomore Marcus Smart and senior Markel Brown. Auburn and Oklahoma State last met in 2006. Oregon State went 16-16 last season and played in the College Basketball Invitational. Auburn and Oregon State have never faced each other on the hardwood.
Dec. 3 | Auburn at Texas Tech | United Supermarkets Arena | 8 p.m. | SEC Network
Auburn and Texas Tech will face off for just the third time in school history and the first time since 1963 as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Auburn is 1-1 all-time against Texas Tech, winning at home in 1962 and falling on the road in 1963. Bruce Pearl coached Tennessee to a 2-0 record in the SEC/Big East Challenge, defeating Marquette in 2008 and No. 3 Pittsburgh in 2010. Pearl and Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith have faced off four previous times, each winning twice when the two were at Tennessee and Kentucky, respectively.
Dec. 5 | Coastal Carolina at Auburn | Auburn Arena | 7 p.m. | TV: TBA
Former Auburn coach Cliff Ellis returns to the Plains for the first time as the two teams meet for just the second time in history, the only other time coming in 1995. Coastal Carolina went 21-13 last year, playing in the NCAA Tournament Second Round after winning the Big South Tournament.
Dec. 14 | Auburn at Clemson | Littlejohn Coliseum | TBA | TV: TBA
Auburn and Clemson play the second half of a home-and-home at Clemson after Auburn won, 66-64, last year at Auburn Arena. Clemson went on to play in last season's NIT, where it advanced to the semifinals, and finished the year 23-13 overall. Auburn is 15-11 all-time against Clemson, which saw junior K.J. McDaniels get drafted No. 32 overall in the NBA Draft.
Dec. 17 | Winthrop at Auburn | Auburn Arena | 8 p.m. | TV: TBA
Winthrop is coming off of a 20-13 campaign. The Golden Eagles fell to Coastal Carolina in the Big South Tournament championship game. Auburn and Winthrop have met just four previous times, with Auburn holding a 3-1 advantage in the series.
Dec. 20 | Xavier at Auburn | Auburn Arena | 7 p.m. | TV: TBA
Auburn plays host to Xavier in the first half of a home-and-home series. Xavier, a member of the BIG EAST, went 21-13 last season and made its eighth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last nine seasons. The program has put together eight 20-win seasons in the last nine years and 16 20-win seasons in the last 18 years. Auburn trails Xavier in the all-time series, 4-3.
Dec. 23 | Texas Southern at Auburn | Auburn Arena | 7 p.m. | TV: TBA
Texas Southern claimed the SWAC Tournament championship and played in the NCAA Tournament First Four last season, finishing the season 19-15. Auburn is 2-0 all-time against Texas Southern, winning in 1988 and 1990.
Dec. 29 | Middle Tennessee State at Auburn | Auburn Arena | 7 p.m. | TV: TBA
Middle Tennessee State went 24-9 last year and won a share of the Conference-USA regular season title. MTSU lost four starters from last year's team and welcome eight new faces to the team. Auburn is 2-0 all-time against MTSU, winning in 2004 and 2010. This is the first of a three-year series between the two programs.
Jan. 3 | North Alabama at Auburn | Auburn Arena | 4 p.m. | TV: TBA
Auburn will play host to North Alabama in its final non-conference game of the season. North Alabama went 23-10 last season, winning the Gulf South Conference and advancing to the NCAA Division II Tournament Second Round.
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