The 2015-2016 TCU Men's Basketball non-conference schedule is beginning to take shape as a handful of future contest dates were announced this week. The pairings for the 2015 Cancun Challenge were revealed this morning. The Frogs will host Houston Baptist on November 19 before heading to Mexico to face Rhode Island in the first semifinal on November 24. The following night, the winner of that contest will face the winner of the second semifinal, which pits Illinois State against Maryland. The losers of each of the two semifinal contests will also play each other on November 25. Each game of the Cancun Challenge will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network.
Earlier this week, ESPN announced that the Frogs will be matched up with the Tennessee Volunteers in the 2016 Big 12/SEC Challenge. That game will take place at the newly-renovated Daniel-Meyer Coliseum on January 30 and will be televised nationally on ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNU. The contest will likely be the first return trip to the Lone Star State for former Texas and current Tennessee Head Coach Rick Barnes.
These four games are in addition to a previously announced contest with cross-town rival SMU. The Frogs are expected to host the Mustangs on December 2.
The full 2015-2016 TCU Men's Basketball schedule is expected to be released in the coming weeks. Frog fans can expect anywhere from seven to ten games in addition to the ones listed above. It is likely that a couple of future contests will be against opponents from the Southwestern Athletic Conference, as the Frogs have hosted at least two SWAC foes in each of the last five seasons.
TCU appears to be upgrading its non-conference slate after missing the cut for the NIT last season. Both Maryland and SMU played in the NCAA Tournament last year, while Illinois State and Rhode Island appeared in the NIT. The Frogs started the season 13-0 in 2014, thanks in part to a weak non-conference slate. TCU's non-conference opponents finished the season with a combined record of 157-255. Only Mississippi, who lost in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament, and Radford, who lost in the Quarterfinals of the College Basketball Invitational, finished their seasons with winning records.
Trent Johnson's squad will open the season in mid-November in the newly-renovated, $72 million Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. Stay tuned as the full schedule will be released in the coming weeks.