Northwest Missouri State opened the 2019-20 DII men’s basketball season at the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame Classic on the weekend of Nov. 1 but made waves on a preseason trip to Durham, North Carolina.
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The Bearcats traveled to Cameron Indoor Stadium on Oct. 26 and certainly impressed the Duke Blue Devils. Duke finished the season No. 1 in the DI men’s basketball AP poll, just as the Bearcats finished in the final DII NABC poll, and the two battled to the final whistle, with Duke eking out a 69-63 victory.
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But the Bearcats aren’t alone as DII programs across the nation take on some DI in-state rivals and March Madness teams before the regular season commences.
Cedarville — in its first of three matchups against DI schools — Cal State East Bay and Stonehill got the ball rolling on Oct. 19. Barry was the first DII school to take on a school that finished in the top 25 of the final NET rankings of the 2018-19 season, after traveling to Tallahassee to take on No. 15 Florida State on Oct. 22. North Carolina, Michigan, Kansas, Kentucky, Buffalo, Tennessee, and Kansas State are some of the other top 25 schools welcoming DII programs to their campus for a little exhibition fun.
Let’s not forget to keep an eye out for those upsets. Augusta made waves last year taking down South Carolina amongst a handful of DII schools that rose victorious.