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UCLA Basektball Faces Another Tough Non-Conference Schedule

The Bruins will face Kentucky, North Carolina, and Gonzaga for certain, but could also see Indiana, Kansas, St. John's, UNLV, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest in the Maui Invitational.

Steve Alford and staff have a lot of work to do to get the Bruins ready for their non-conference schedule.
Steve Alford and staff have a lot of work to do to get the Bruins ready for their non-conference schedule.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA released its 2015-2016 non-conference basketball schedule earlier today. While it is heavy on home games and only has one away game, one neutral site game and the Maui Invitational, it is still a tough non-conference calendar.

It starts with three games that should be some of the easiest on the schedule with Monmouth, Cal Poly SLO, and Pepperdine on November 13th, 15th and 19th, respectively.

The Maui Invitational will take place on November 23-25, Monday through Wednesday of Thanksgiving Week. This year's Maui Invitational will feature Chaminade, Indiana, Kansas, St. John's, UNLV, Vanderbilt, and Wake Forest. Yeah, that's right, Bruin fans. Steve Alford will potentially face his alma mater in this tournament. Let's hope they do and let's hope that the Bruins crush the Hoosiers, if for no other reason than to increase the temperature of Tom Creen's seat and to make Hoosier fans long to bring Alford home. Hoosier fans, you want to bring Alford home. (I read somewhere, I'm not sure where, that Indiana basketball fans are particularly susceptible to the use of the Jedi Mind Trick.)

The Sunday after Thanksgiving will pit the Bruins against CSUN followed by a rematch of last year's CBS Sports Classic when the Kentucky Wildcats and John Calipari make the trip to Westwood. The Bruins will finish their non-conference California slate with a game against Long Beach State on December 9th.

The lone road game on the non-conference schedule will be on December 12th at Gonzaga when the Bruins will face a team that beat them twice in the 2014-15 season. Louisiana-Lafayette visits on December 15 but expect the Bruins to get no sleep till Brooklyn where they will face North Carolina in a neutral site game at the Barclays Center on December 19th.

UCLA returns home for their final non-conference game of the season on December 22nd against McNeese State.

Here's the non-conference schedule (in date order):

Date Opponent Venue
Nov. 13 Monmouth Pauley Pavilion
Nov. 15 Cal Poly Pauley Pavilion
Nov. 19 Pepperdine Pauley Pavilion
Nov. 23 Maui Invitational Lahaina, Maui (Hawaii)
Nov. 24 Maui Invitational Lahaina, Maui (Hawaii)
Nov. 25 Maui Invitational Lahaina, Maui (Hawaii)
Nov. 29 CSUN Pauley Pavilion
Dec. 3 Kentucky Pauley Pavilion
Dec. 6 Long Beach State Pauley Pavilion
Dec. 12 at Gonzaga McCarthey Athletic Center (Spokane, Wash.)
Dec. 15 Louisiana-Lafayette Pauley Pavilion
Dec. 19 vs. North Carolina Barclays Center (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Dec. 22 McNeese State Pauley Pavilion

UPDATE: A few hours after this article was published, UCLA and the Pac-12 Conference released more info about the Conference portion of the schedule. Dates and times are TBD, but the Conference has set the weekend pairings at this point. Here's that info:

Weekend Opponent Home/Away
Dec. 30-Jan. 3 Washington State, Washington Away
Jan. 6-10 Arizona, Arizona State Home
Jan. 13-17 USC Home
Jan. 20-24 Oregon State, Oregon Away
Jan. 27-31 Washington, Washington State Home
Feb. 3-7 USC Away
Feb. 10-14 Arizona, Arizona State Away
Feb. 17-21 Colorado, Utah Home
Feb. 24-28 California, Stanford Away
March 2-6 Oregon, Oregon State Home

As you can see, UCLA will host Colorado and Utah, but will not play away games against them. Also, UCLA will play away games against UC Berkeley and Stanford, but those teams will not play in Westwood this season. The complete Pac-12 schedule is expected to be finalized in early September.

Go Bruins!!!