Most power-programs prefer to have their non-conference schedule lined up with a slew of delicious cupcakes. Usually, that has some to do with their already brutal in-conference schedule and the building of team chemistry that comes with playing the Club State Pool Cleaners of the world.
For the Kansas Jayhawks, however, their 2013-14 non-conference schedule turns out to be absent of said cupcakes and instead features possibly the toughest group of games in the Bill Self era.
Kansas is slated to play in the Battle 4 Atlantis. The event has a solid group of teams slated to play including the Iowa Hawkeyes, Xavier Muskateers, UTEP Miners, Villanova Wildcats, Tennessee Volunteers, Wake Forest Demon Deacons and USC Trojans.
That said, even the Battle 4 Atlantic is not the hardest part of Kansas’ non-conference schedule. They are also going to play the Duke Blue Devils, Georgetown Hoyas, San Diego Aztecs and New Mexico Lobos.
Sure, there are some other games more familiar with the cupcake schedule everyone loves to have, but the Jayhawks have done more than build a strong non-conference slate — they have put together one that will be as difficult to navigate as their in-conference line up.
Notably absent to their non-conference schedule, however, is some possible in-state rivalries that could be built — namely, no Wichita State or Missouri Tigers on the schedule. Whether that was done because of too many games already scheduled or if Kansas is trying to snub little brother is unknown. To be fair though, some of the non-conference games are made way in advance — as in way before anyone cared about Wichita State.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone