It won't take long for Michigan and first-year coach Juwan Howard to be tested next season.
The program unveiled the 11-game nonconference portion of its 2019-20 schedule on Wednesday and it will feature its fair share of hurdles over the first month.
After the Howard era kicks off with an exhibition against Saginaw Valley State on Nov. 1, Michigan will open the regular season at home against Appalachian State on Nov. 5, the first of four straight contests at Crisler Center.
The Wolverines will follow that up with an early test against Creighton on Nov. 12 as part of the Gavitt Games before hosting Elon on Nov. 15 in a Battle 4 Atlantis on-campus matchup and Houston Baptist on Nov. 22.
Michigan will close out November by traveling to the Bahamas for the Battle 4 Atlantis, which will take place from Nov. 27-29. The eight-team field features four teams ranked in the top 30 of KenPom’s ratings last season in Gonzaga (No. 2), North Carolina (No. 7), Iowa State (No. 15) and Oregon (No. 28) as well as Alabama, Seton Hall and Southern Miss. The bracket for the Thanksgiving tournament has yet to be released.
The schedule won’t get any easier when the calendar flips to December. Michigan will play its first true road game at Louisville in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Dec. 3. The Jordan Nwora-led Cardinals are ranked a preseason top-five team by several major outlets, including CBS Sports, ESPN and Sports Illustrated.
Following a pair of early Big Ten contests, Michigan’s tough stretch will continue with Oregon, who reached the Sweet 16 last season, on Dec. 14 in Ann Arbor. Depending on how the Battle 4 Atlantis matchups shake out, it’s possible this could mark the second meeting between the programs in a three-week span.
The Wolverines will close out the nonconference slate by hosting Presbyterian on Dec. 21 and UMass Lowell on Dec. 29 before resuming Big Ten play after the New Year.
In total, Michigan will face at least four teams who recorded at least 20 wins and finished in the top 180 of KenPom’s rankings last season (Creighton, Louisville, Oregon and Presbyterian) during nonconference play.
"We have put together a very challenging and balanced nonconference schedule," Howard said in a statement. "These 11 games gives us not only 11 opportunities to grow and get better as team, but it also helps to face several high-caliber opponents prior getting into the Big Ten schedule. I am looking forward to seeing how we progress."
Tip-off times and TV designations for the matchups will be announced at a later date.
UM's 2019-20 nonconference schedule
►Fri. Nov. 1 vs. Saginaw Valley State (exhibition)
►Tues. Nov. 5 vs. Appalachian State
►Tues. Nov. 12 vs. Creighton (Gavitt Games)
►Fri. Nov. 15 vs. Elon
►Fri. Nov. 22 vs. Houston Baptist
►Nov. 27-29 Battle 4 Atlantis (matchups TBD)
►Tues. Dec. 3 at Louisville (ACC-Big Ten Challenge)
►Sat. Dec. 14 vs. Oregon
►Sat. Dec. 21 vs. Presbyterian
►Sun. Dec. 29 vs. UMass Lowell