Northwestern will play 2016 NCAA Tournament teams Florida and DePaul this season, the team announced Thursday as it released the full nonconference schedule.
The Wildcats will host another NCAA qualifier in Missouri State and meet Virginia in a previously-announced ACC/Big Ten Challenge game as part of the 13-game slate. NU will host nine of those games at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
The Gators, who will travel to Evanston for a Nov. 25 matchup, were a No. 5 seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament and was often ranked in the top 25. DePaul, who handed the Cats their first loss last season, reached the second round of the NCAAs as a No. 6 seed.
NU opens the regular season with three straight home games and will not leave the Chicagoland area before a Dec. 11 tilt at Milwaukee. The Cats’ only lengthy road trip is to the West Coast for games at Santa Clara and Gonzaga.
NU will host Illinois-Springfield in an exhibition Nov. 6. The official opener is Nov. 11 against Hampton.
The Cats’ Big Ten opponents have been released, but the full schedule has not. Last season, NU finished nonconference play with an 11-1 record but went just 4-14 in conference games.