Lehigh men’s basketball has encountered quite the recent history against top non-conference teams, defeating Duke University in 2012 and beating both Arizona State University and DePaul University last year. This year, the Hawks will have plenty more challenging opponents.
The full 2015-16 schedule for the team was announced Thursday, with a fair share of opponents who were successful last winter. Among those include Syracuse University, University of Virginia and Purdue University.
Virginia is the most notable of them all, which was a No. 2 seed in the NCAA March Madness bracket last spring. Purdue was a ninth seed in the bracket last year. Syracuse is coming off a slightly disappointing 2014-15 campaign, but is just two years removed from being a third seed in the tournament.
The games against all three of these teams will be away. Lehigh’s season opener will be against Syracuse on Nov. 13 and its home opener will be against Yale University on Nov. 19. This is the 12th year in a row that Lehigh will open the season on the road.
Seven of the first nine games for Lehigh will be away, including four in a row from Nov. 22 to Dec. 2. Lehigh will face three of the same non-conference teams as last year: Canisius College, Columbia University and St. Francis University. Lehigh will also face Robert Morris University, which was a 16th seed in the NCAA tournament as well.
The Mountain Hawks will begin its conference schedule just before the new year on Dec. 30 at home against Army West Point, which Lehigh beat twice last year. This game will be its third of its four-game home stretch, the longest it will have all season.
Other notable games include those against Bucknell University, which finished first in the Patriot League during the regular season last year, on Jan. 11 at home. The Hawks also face rival Lafayette College away Jan. 23 and at home Feb. 21.
Lehigh will then finish its Patriot League schedule the way it starts, with its second game against Army on Feb. 27. The Patriot League Tournament will be played from March 1-9.
The Hawks finished last year with an 6-6 record outside the conference and a 10-8 record in the Patriot League. The team will look to finish its second year in a row with an overall winning record.