Seton Hall’s 2016 non-conference schedule coming together

With the addition of an Under Armour-sponsored game against South Carolina at Madison Square Garden, Seton Hall’s 2016-17 non-conference schedule is nearing completion.

The game against 25-9 (11-7) South Carolina will be part of an UA double-header that also features Boston College and Auburn and is possibly the ninth known game on the Hall’s non-league schedule.

Seton Hall will participate in the Gavitt Games (Big Ten-Big East challenge) after sitting out last season, play three games in Orlando at a loaded AdvoCare Invitational field, host Rutgers, more likely than not play Kansas in Hawaii on Pearl Harbor Day and possibly play another West Coast game just prior to that.

Kevin Willard’s scheduling has come a long way since openly saying he wanted to play a softer schedule in his first season when pitted against a mostly Bobby Gonzalez-picked slate.

It has come a long way since being ranked sub-300 in consecutive seasons by KenPom (2012-14), playing a laundry list of boring cupcakes in UMKC, Norfolk State, Maine, N.C. A&T, Longwood, LIU-Brooklyn, NJIT (when they were bad), and Niagara during that span.

Yuck. But that was then.

Since, Willard gradually upgraded his scheduling in 2014-15 to 230th with a trip to the Paradise Jam and adding home-and-home series with Wichita State, Georgia and George Washington. Those three tough schedules combined with the Charleston Classic gave the Hall a non-conference schedule ranked 244th this year.

Now, try this on for size:

Early November – Gavitt Games
Nov. 24-27 – Advocare Invitational (Gonzaga, Iowa St, Miami, Florida, Stanford, Indiana St, Quinnipiac)
Day prior to Dec. 7 – West Coast game
Dec. 7 – Kansas (in Hawaii)
December – Rutgers
Fairleigh Dickinson – rumored
Saint Peter’s – Hall’s longest-standing non-conference opponent

That can easily turn into a top-100 non-conference schedule.

The above list leaves about three more spots to be filled, which will likely be home games against mid-majors — one of which may be played at Walsh Gym. It’s unclear if the Hall will play on the road in the Gavitt Games and there are only other three games currently set to be played at home: Rutgers, FDU and Saint Peter’s.