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Texas basketball’s 2016-17 non-conference schedule released

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NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-UNI vs Texas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Longhorns men’s basketball 2016-17 non-conference schedule was released Thursday afternoon and as seen below, it’s one that’s not quite as jam-packed with stiff competition as last season’s slate was.

Photo: Texas Sports

The down side of this schedule comes in the form of entertainment with so many small programs set to face the Longhorns. Among the most noteworthy games in Austin will be against an unranked Alabama squad and Long Beach State.

Instead, Texas will face Michigan, Arkansas and Georgia — all of the appealing games — on the road.

Additionally, the non-conference slate won’t offer much value in terms of RPI and boosting the Texas NCAA Tournament resume down the stretch unless anyone surpasses expectations next season and there’s certainly no North Carolina matchup to enjoy.

On the other hand, the mediocrity of the non-conference schedule could bode well for the Longhorns entering a Big 12 schedule that should be much less daunting than the previous couple seasons — 12-1 or even 13-0 looks beyond reasonable with the talent Shaka Smart has at his disposal entering his second season.