Big-name programs headline 2022-23 men’s basketball schedule

Riley Platt, Sports Editor

After months of anticipation, the full University of North Florida (UNF) men’s basketball schedule has been released, and it includes some of the nation’s top teams.

Much of the earlier non-conference slate includes road duels with power conference opponents, something that is affectionately referred to as ‘buy games.’ These programs pay big money for smaller teams to come and play them, with the desired result being an easy win for the home team. Just because this is how they are planned, they don’t always go this way.

This was the case in 2014 when the Ospreys defeated Big Ten foe Purdue. UNF will have the chance to repeat this feat when they open up against the Gonzaga Bulldogs on November 7. Mark Few’s Bulldogs will likely be a top-five team come November and will be on a revenge tour of sorts following a Sweet Sixteen exit in last season’s NCAA tournament.

A full arena with a basketball court in the middle
Alaska Airlines Arena, at Hec Edmundson Pavilion at the University of Washington. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond, 2015)

The Ospreys will go from one of the country’s loudest venues to one of its most historic. The second stop on the opening road trip comes against the Washington Huskies at Hec Edmunson Pavilion, which opened in 1927. This will wrap up UNF’s stint in the Pacific Northwest, returning to campus to face South Carolina State on Nov. 19 in the home opener at the newly-renovated UNF Arena.

Following this, it’s back to the road for the Ospreys as they face the Duquesne Dukes in Pittsburgh, Penn. The most notable opponent on the schedule is next, though, as UNF faces the ever-famous Kentucky Wildcats for the second year in a row. The Ospreys hung in there against Coach Cal’s squad last season, but the Cats ultimately cruised to a 86-52 win.

UNF gets a bit of a break, returning home to face Trinity Baptist College. Remaining highlights of the non-conference schedule include an away game with the Houston Cougars, who made a Final Four run in 2021, and a home-and-home series with Bethune-Cookman University.

The Ospreys open Atlantic Sun (ASUN) conference play at home on Dec. 31 against new member Austin Peay State University. These two squads dueled last season as non-conference opponents, which UNF won 91-84.

UNF basketball player stands at the free throw line
Prior to last season, the Liberty Flames had won the ASUN championship for three consecutive seasons. (Riley Platt)

Other highlights include a pair of home games in mid-January, as the Ospreys face another new ASUN member, Queens College, on Jan. 19. Just two days later, UNF faces the Liberty Flames in what the Ospreys hope to make a replay of one of last season’s most thrilling games. 

The River City Rumble returns in the opening week of February, where UNF will look to avenge last year’s disappointing results. The away fixture takes place at Jacksonville University on Feb. 2, while the rivalry comes to UNF on Feb. 4.

JU player defends shot from UNF player
Things didn’t go UNF’s way last season in the road duel with the JU Dolphins, losing 71-39 in a humiliating defeat. (Justin Nedrow)

The Ospreys close out the regular season at home on Feb. 24 against last season’s conference champions, the Bellarmine Knights. Despite only having been a Division I program for the past two seasons, the Knights have quickly ascended to one of the ASUN’s top teams.

The 2022-23 season has the potential to be a return to prominence for the UNF Ospreys. The last few seasons haven’t been ideal, but an experienced core will look to make their way back to competing for the conference title.

To view the full schedule, click here.


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].