Stony Brook Athletics released the 2015-16 men’s basketball schedule on Wednesday, Sept. 16. The highlight of the slate is a matchup against Notre Dame on the road on Tuesday, Dec. 8. The Fighting Irish were eliminated in the Elite Eight last season and were a No. 3 seed coming into the NCAA Tournament. Guards Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton were selected in the 2015 NBA Draft following that run.
Another elite opponent Stony Brook will test itself against is Vanderbilt, a member of the SEC and the No. 36 team in the nation, according to the basketball ranking website kenpom.com. The two teams square off in Nashville on Thursday, Nov. 19 in SBU’s second game of the season. A couple of nights later, the Seawolves travel to Western Kentucky for the teams’ second meeting in as many seasons. Last year, SBU beat the Hilltoppers 71-61 at home, with Western Kentucky just two years removed from an NCAA Tournament bid.
Other schools making a return to the Seawolves’ schedule from last season are Princeton, which used a second-half run to pull away from Stony Brook in New Jersey; Hofstra, a Long Island rival that topped SBU on a last-second game-winner; Loyola University Maryland, which the Seawolves beat in both 2014 and 2015; American, which won the Patriot League Championship in 2014; and Columbia, which SBU swept in two games last year.
NJIT, Northeastern and Lehigh, all of which will be faced in road games, round out Stony Brook’s non-conference Division I contests.
The Seawolves open up America East Conference play at Binghamton, Stony Brook’s first-round America East tournament opponent last year, on Wednesday, Jan. 6. SBU’s first match-up with rival Albany will take place on Long Island on Friday, Jan. 22. On Wednesday, Feb. 17, the Seawolves will face Albany on the Great Danes’s turf. Stony Brook’s regular season ends on Saturday, Feb. 27 in a home game against Vermont, which could potentially be a game of major seeding consequences.
The Seawolves will be playing two fewer regular-season games compared to last season due to not taking part in the NIT Tip-Off Tournament. Like last year, SBU will play against two non-Division I opponents, and one of those teams will be the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. The Seawolves will first play USMMA at home on Saturday, Nov. 14.