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Texas basketball releases non-conference schedule

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The ‘Horns have several intriguing match-ups on the docket.

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Championship-Texas vs Texas Tech Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Texas athletics announced Texas Longhorns basketball’s non-conference schedule on Thursday afternoon, and there are several intriguing match-ups on the horizon for the ‘Horns.

Texas’ first real test will be in the Phil Knight Invitational (PK80) against Butler in Portland, Oregon on November 23. The tournament features several high profile programs, such as Michigan State, Gonzaga, and North Carolina. Texas will likely have to play Duke in the second round should the ‘Horns beat Butler.

The most obvious marquee game on the docket is when the Longhorns will visit Shaka Smart’s former team, VCU, on December 5. The Rams are coming off another NCAA tournament appearance after going 26-9 and losing in the first round of the tourney to No.7 seed St. Mary’s.

Another game to watch for will be when the ‘Horns host Michigan on December 12. Last year in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines prevailed 53-50 in a defensive struggle. Michigan lost star forward D.J. Wilson to the draft, but still has skilled big man Mo Wagner to defend Texas’ Mo Bamba. The Mo vs. Mo match-up will be one that fans and NBA scouts alike will surely be tuned into.

Though there are tough opponents on the docket, Texas’ non-conference schedule is balanced with plenty of opportunities for easy victories. The ‘Horns will begin their season with home contests against Northwestern State, New Hampshire, and Lipscomb — all of whom were outside of KenPom’s top 150 teams last season.