Florida setting up another tough schedule

After the Gators missed the NCAA Tournament during the 2008-09 season, Florida head coach Billy Donovan set up a difficult schedule the following year to make sure it would never be a reason the Gators missed the tournament. He has continued that trend ever since, and next year is setting up to be no different.

The non-conference schedule includes some of the top teams in the country and produces a difficult three weeks on the schedule.

Florida will host Florida State on November 29, the Friday night before the two schools play football at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The Gators then travel to face Connecticut on December 2 in their first game in Storrs, Conn.

Florida will return home to host Kansas on December 10 as a part of the SEC-Big 12 challenge. One week later, the Gators will travel to play Memphis in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Florida said on Friday that details about the game against Memphis were still being negotiated.

The Gators close out play before Christmas break in the Orange Bowl Classic in Sunrise, Fla. The opponent for that game is yet to be determined.

Florida open the season against North Florida on November 8 in an afternoon game with Gator Growl happening that night on homecoming weekend.

The North Florida game will serve as a tune up for a big road game when the Gators travel to play Wisconsin on November 12. This is the second game of a home-and-home agreement after the Gators beat the Badgers in Gainesville last year.

Other non-conference games against smaller schools include Arkansas Little-Rock on November 16, Southern on November 18, Middle Tennessee State on November 21, Savannah State on December 29 and Richmond on January 4 -- all at home.

The Gators will play a game at Jacksonville in Memorial Arena on November 25. The Gators will get two home games against Jacksonville in return for playing the road game.

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