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Air Force Building Stronger Basketball Schedule for 2015-16

Road trips to Ohio State and Colorado highlight the list of opponents Air Force Head Basketball Coach Dave Pilipovich announced this week as he attempts to increase the strength of the basketball schedule going forward for the Falcons.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

In a move that is long overdue, Air Force Falcons Head Basketball Coach Dave Pilipovich announced to the Colorado Springs Gazette that he is increasing the competitiveness of the basketball schedule for the 2015-2016 and beyond. Air Force has struggled to put together a RPI quality non-conference schedule, but Pilipovich announced many of the 2015-16 opponents this week and he has accomplished putting together a very quality group of opponents.

The road schedule features Ohio State, Colorado, Denver, UC Davis and the recently announced match-up versus Southern Illinois in the Mountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge. The in-state match-up with Denver is renewing a series that was last played in 2001. Air Force will be facing Ohio State for the first time in program history, while Colorado and UC Davis have been common foes for the Falcons in the last few years. Adding a quality mid-major opponent in the Missouri Valley Challenge is also a true bonus for Air Force, who has had to rely too much on low tier Division I schools or Division II opponents to fill out its non-conference schedule.

While finding teams to travel to has always been easy for the Falcons basketball program, getting quality teams to travel to Colorado Springs has always been difficult. Other than Colorado, getting power conference opponents to come to the Academy doesn't usually work out too well. As of right now, that is the case again, but the Falcons have been able to schedule two mid-major teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament to come to Colorado Springs in 2015. New Mexico State and Robert Morris will headline the home non-conference schedule next season. Another important opponent for the Falcons will be service rival Army who will be playing in Colorado Springs this season. The Citadel and Tennessee Tech round out Pilipovich's announced opponents.

Another interesting fact from the article was Pilipovich's desire to get Navy on the schedule and to develop a format very similar to the Commander-in-Chief competition between the three service schools. Navy and Army are conference opponents in the Patriot League, and Air Force would like to play both yearly in the non-conference with one road and one home game each year. Air Force has not faced Navy since 2005, but Pilipovich is very confident that an agreement can be reached in the near future.