It has been a while UND fans.
We are approaching the start of the fall sports season. While there is certainly much to be excited for in those sports… it is never too early to start thinking about basketball.
Last week, we got the official non-conference schedule to go with the 18 conference games that were released earlier in the year. You can go here to view the full schedule: 2021-22 Men’s Basketball Schedule – University of North Dakota Athletics (fightinghawks.com)
Some thoughts on the schedule
-One of the biggest gripes from basketball fans is the non-conference home schedule. Typically, it is full of non-d1 teams and very little in terms of division 1 teams. Not so much here. This might be one of the better home schedules UND has put together. 4 out of the 6 games are D1, two of them are very familiar opponents.
-UND starts their season with 2 home games. The first one will be against Milwaukee, which will feature 5 star incoming freshman Patrick Baldwin Jr, who turned down several Power 5 offers to stay home and play for his dad (super cool!). Then they take on Montana a few days later, a former conference rival. The Griz are a perennial power in the BSC and are well coached under Travis DeCurie. They are looking to bounce back after a disappointing season (by Montana Standards)
-UND hits up Florida for a tournament at Florida Atlantic on Nov 19-21st. They will take on FAU, Troy, and UT-Martin.
-UNDs has only 1 Power 5 game, a trip to Manhattan, Kansas to take on Kansas State on Nov 28th. The last time they played KSU was back in the Troy Huff Era (unfortunately he broke is jaw in that game)
-UND has two non D-1 opponents, Presentation (Nov 30th) and North Central (Dec 14th).
-UND also gets another BSC opponent at home in Eastern Washington (Dec 11th), the Big Sky champions from a year ago. This will also be the first meeting against his former team for new UND assistant Steven Aldridge. He served as an Grad Assistant for EWU for the previous 2 seasons.
-The last non-conference game is against Dixie State to complete a home and home from last year. UND is looking to get a bit of revenge after their loss from last year (and being the answer to a trivia questions: The first D1 win for Dixie as a D1 team).
-To the conference schedule, UND starts off with the 3 Dakota Schools, starting the season in Fargo against NDSU (Dec 22nd), before hosting USD (Dec 30th) and SDSU (Jan 1st). It will be a tough start to the schedule for UND with 2 of the 3 top teams right off of the bat.
-UND gets the new kids on the block, St. Thomas, on Jan 15th. They have the return trip to St. Paul on Feb 10th.
-Not only will the start of the conference season be tough, but the finish will be as well. The good news? All 3 of the games will be at home. However, finishing with a defensive minded Kansas City squad, an electric Oral Roberts squad, and then the in-state rival NDSU will be a challenge.
-Most important: Summit League Tournament is on March 5th – 8th in Sioux Falls. Mark your calendars.
-Now with 10 teams, we have mirror scheduling! We also have games on Thursday and Saturday night for conference (minus the first one against NDSU). This consistency will be very helpful going forward for the league.
Overall, this will be a good schedule for a team that is trying to put a lot of new pieces together to complete in another rugged Summit League. It will be a fun home schedule and hope fans can get out and support the team.
Only 75 days left until the season starts! Until then, a few more articles and watching plenty of UND Football.