Wake Forest announced its nonconference schedule for the men’s basketball team Tuesday, and it includes four games against in-state foes — but seemingly a month-long break between home games.
“With the ACC schedule expanding to 20 games this season, we have less opportunities to schedule nonconference games,” Coach Danny Manning said through a news release. “That makes it more important to use those limited dates to assemble a schedule that prepares us for the conference season.
“We believe this schedule strikes a balance between playing at home and on the road and includes a variety of opponents that will allow us to assess our team early in the season.”
As previously announced, Wake Forest will open the season Nov. 6 at Boston College — an ACC game to begin the season because of the league’s new 20-game schedule and to draw attention to the incoming ACC Network.
After that, the Deacons come home for games against Columbia (Nov. 10) and UNC Asheville (Nov. 13). Columbia was 10-18 and ranked 215th in KenPom last season, while UNCA was 4-27 and ranked 347th.
Two trips to Mecklenburg County follow — the Deacons play at Charlotte on Nov. 17 and face Davidson on Nov. 22 in the Hornets’ Spectrum Center.
Wake Forest’s nonconference tournament this season takes the Deacons to Anaheim, Calif., for the Wooden Legacy. Those games will be played Nov. 28, 29 and Dec. 1. The field is Wake Forest, Arizona, Providence, College of Charleston, Central Florida, Penn, Pepperdine and Long Beach State.
After that, the Deacons will play at Penn State in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Dec. 4.
Finally, Wake Forest will return home and play Xavier on Dec. 14 for the Skip Prosser Classic. Wake Forest’s final nonconference game will be Dec. 21 against N.C. A&T.
The ACC schedule has not been released, but it could include a home game before Christmas — breaking up the drought of home games between Nov. 13 and Dec. 14.
Wake Forest has never lost to UNCA or N.C. A&T in its history, holding an 8-0 series lead over UNCA and 4-0 over the Aggies. The Deacons are 8-2 against Charlotte, including an 80-57 win at Charlotte in 2017 and an 80-56 win in Winston-Salem last season. Wake Forest leads Davidson 62-23, having beaten the Wildcats 67-63 last year.
Of note is something missing from the schedule: an exhibition game. Wake Forest will play two closed-door scrimmages this year, as opposed to recent years when the Deacons have played one closed-door scrimmage and then played an exhibition at Joel Coliseum.
It’s the first time since at least the 1998-99 season that Wake Forest has not played a public exhibition.