Kansas releases 2018-19 non-conference schedule

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -

The Kansas Jayhawks announced their 2018-19 non-conference schedule on Friday and it should once again be one of the toughest in the nation.

They have games against blue-blooded programs like Michigan State in the Champions Classic, Villanova at Phog Allen Fieldhouse and Kentucky in Lexington as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

"This is definitely a tremendous non-conference schedule and for a young team it's a lot to try to conquer, especially so early in the season when we have so many guys who will be playing pivotal roles," head coach Bill Self said. "Hopefully it will be great preparation for once again playing in one of the best leagues, if not the best league, in the country. It's going to be tough. I know our players will enjoy the challenge and I know our fans will enjoy watching them enjoy the challenge.

Kansas Men's Basketball 2018-19 Nonconference Schedule (home games in ALL CAPS)
Oct. 25 (Thursday) - EMPORIA STATE (EXHIBITION)
Nov. 1 (Thursday) - WASHBURN (EXHIBITION)
Nov. 6 (Tuesday) - Michigan State (Indianapolis, Champions Classic)
Nov. 12 (Monday) - VERMONT (NIT home contest)
Nov. 16 (Friday) - LOUISIANA (NIT home contest)
Nov. 21 (Wednesday) - TBD (Brooklyn, N.Y., NIT semifinals)
Nov. 23 (Friday) - TBD (Brooklyn, N.Y., NIT finals)
Dec. 1 (Saturday) - STANFORD
Dec. 4 (Tuesday) - WOFFORD
Dec. 8 (Saturday) - NEW MEXICO STATE (Kansas City, Mo., Jayhawk Shootout)
Dec. 15 (Saturday) - VILLANOVA
Dec. 18 (Tuesday) - SOUTH DAKOTA
Dec. 22 (Saturday) - at Arizona State
Dec. 29 (Saturday) - EASTERN MICHIGAN
Jan. 26 (Saturday) - at Kentucky (SEC/Big 12 Challenge)
March 13-16 - Big 12 Championship (Kansas City, Mo.)