Utah basketball added a couple high profile non conference match ups to their schedule next season. The Utes will host Butler in Salt Lake City on November 28th this season and travel to Cincinnati on December 10th to take on Xavier. In addition, BYU will be added to the schedule in 2017, though no specific date has been determined.
The match ups with both Xavier and Butler are home-and-home series, with Utah travelling to Indianapolis to take on Butler and hosting Xavier next season. Both games add high profile opponents (both were in the NCAA tournament this past season) to Utah's upcoming schedule. Much like last season's match up with Duke, travelling to Cincinnati will give the program a chance to travel to a different part of the country and gain exposure in what could be an anticipated game. Butler will also provide an intriguing opponent for Utah fans to come and see in person at the Huntsman Center.
This will mark the third time Utah and Butler will meet on the basketball court. Utah in 1-1 in two contests thus far, beating the Bulldogs back in 1964. More recently Butler beat the Utes in the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu in 2010. Utah will be playing Xavier for the first time when they travel to Ohio in December.
Dates being discussed for the agreed upon BYU game are November or December of 2017. The game is scheduled to take place in Provo. The match up will resume the series between Utah and BYU after Larry Krystkowiak and Chris Hill decided to cancel this upcoming season's game. The decision to schedule another game so soon is somewhat surprising considering Utah had to pay an $80,000 buyout to get out of the scheduled 2016 game. Krystkowiak cancelled the game due to a "toxic" and "venomous" environment. I doubt a one year break will be enough to calm the tensions and fully expect the Runnin' Utes to face a very hostile environment in 2017 when they head down to Provo.