The last time we heard from the UAlbany Great Danes, they were making national pundits question the conference tournament system, winning conference championships, and competing with the Duke Blue Devils in the NCAA Tournament. Now we know when and where they'll be playing the first half of this season, as they have released their non-conference schedule.

The schedule is as follows:

Nov. 8 - at Siena
Nov. 12 - NJIT
Nov. 16 - at Quinnipiac
Nov. 20 - at Duquesne
Nov. 23 - Bucknell
Nov. 26 - at Rider
Dec. 1 - at NJIT
Dec. 4 - at Holy Cross
Dec. 10 - at Brown
Dec. 14 - Colgate
Dec. 20 - Yale
Dec. 23 - at Drake
Dec. 31 - at Pitt

Of course, the headliner on this schedule is the season opener at the Times Union Center against the Siena Saints, which is always an entertaining matchup between two programs that just don't seem to like each other very much. With both teams losing key players heading into this season, it will be interesting to see who steps up and takes a leadership role for each squad in this heated rivalry game.

(Side note: A lot of people expect someone who supports UAlbany to also hate Siena. Why? Seeing Albany area teams succeed is good for our area. CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?)

The Great Danes will play two NCAA Tournament teams from last season in Pittsburgh, who are new members of the ACC this year, and Bucknell, who ran through the Patriot League last season.

Other than that, oh good God, it's so horrible! The Great Danes play NJIT who won the illustrious Great West conference last year. The Great West Conference isn't even a thing anymore.

They play Quinnipiac, who finished in the middle of the putrid Northeast Conference (they also beat UAlbany last year, but we'll ignore that), Duquesne, who went 1-15 in the Atlantic 10 last season, Rider, who had a decent year in one of the softest MAACs in recent memory, Holy Cross, who finished just ahead of Navy in the Patriot League, Brown, who are composed entirely of members of the Lambda Lambda Lambda fraternity, Colgate, whose players are just 12 tubes of toothpaste, Yale, who finished two games above .500 in the Ivy League, and Drake who, while very famous, is only one rapper.

This is the problem every year for the Great Danes. They get a head of steam with a weak non-league schedule, everyone gets excited, then the America East powers of Vermont and Stony Brook make them look awful. While things worked out last year, it certainly wasn't because the team got better in the non-conference schedule, as they figured things out late in the conference schedule.

With that said, I look forward to seeing a 12-0 Great Danes squad take on Pitt on New Year's Eve, or something like that.

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