- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1.Texas coach Rick Barnes and NC State coach Mark Gottfried confirmed Jimmy V Classic matchups for Tuesday, Dec. 4 at Madison Square Garden. Texas will play Georgetown and NC State will play Connecticut. Texas has a terrific schedule again with an appearance in the Maui Invitational, hosting North Carolina (meaning the Tar Heels and Longhorns will be in opposite brackets in Maui), play UCLA in Houston and traveling to Michigan State. NC State is the headline team in Puerto Rico in November, hosts Stanford and possibly will get Michigan in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on the road. The ACC is going to 18-league games next season, too, which improves the Wolfpack schedule with two games against Duke and Florida State as well as North Carolina.
2.Kansas coach Bill Self said the Jayhawks are desperate for a quality home-and-home series, starting in Lawrence next season. KU originally talked to Indiana but that deal fell through. The Jayhawks are in the CBE Classic with Saint Louis as the other high-profile team. The Jayhawks also have the Champions Classic game against Michigan State in Atlanta, return a game at Ohio State and get Temple at home. That’s still a very strong slate. But Self said the Jayhawks are looking for a new series at home and are struggling to find one.
3. Bruce Weber said when he took the Kansas State job he had to finish the schedule. The Wildcats already had a return game against Florida in Kansas City and are in the NIT Season Tip-Off as one of the four hosts (Pitt, Virginia and Michigan are the other three). Weber finished the marquee portion of the schedule by signing up to play in the Battle of Seattle against Gonzaga. Weber had enjoyed his series with the Zags at Illinois and wanted to continue to challenge the Wildcats. “It’s a fine line,’’ Weber said. “You want to win games early but with a good team you want to make sure you challenge yourself.’’