Dick Vitale on who has college basketball's biggest 'Cupcake City' schedule

Minnesota and Rutgers battled it out for Cupcake City honors in 2021-22. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

First of all, I want to thank everybody for the prayers and well-wishes during my battle against cancer. It is tough going through chemotherapy but I have a positive attitude with so many kind words sent to me.

I want to talk college hoops, baby!

Every season, I come up with my All-Cupcake non-conference schedule. Some schools like to face challenges in non-league play to push an impressive résumé to the NCAA tournament selection committee. Others put together a cupcake schedule to build as many wins as possible.

Schools including Georgetown, Arkansas, Georgia Tech, St. John's and Mississippi State have been my among my previous "winners" of Cupcake City honors.

This season, it was a two-team battle, both in the Big Ten. Let's look at the finalists, with the records of the opponents from last season:

Rutgers Scarlet Knights


Nov. 10 vs. Lehigh, 4-11
Nov. 13 vs. Merrimack. 9-9
Nov. 16 vs. NJIT, 7-12
Nov. 18 at DePaul, 5-14
Nov. 22 vs. Lafayette, 9-6
Nov. 27 at UMass, 8-7
Nov. 30 vs. Clemson, 16-8
Dec. 12 at Seton Hall, 14-13
Dec. 18 vs. Rider, 6-17
Dec. 23 vs. CCSU, 5-16
Dec. 29 vs. Maine, 2-7

Minnesota Golden Gophers


Nov. 9 vs. Kansas City, 11-13
Nov. 12 vs. Western Kentucky (Asheville, NC), 21-8
Nov. 14 vs. Princeton or South Carolina (Asheville, NC), Princeton DNP/South Carolina 6-15
Nov. 19 vs. Purdue Fort Wayne, 8-15
Nov. 24 vs. Jacksonville, 11-13
Nov. 30 vs. Pittsburgh, 10-12
Dec. 5 at Mississippi State, 18-15
Dec. 14 vs. Texas A&M Corpus Christi, 5-19
Dec. 22 vs. Green Bay, 8-17
Dec. 29. vs. Alcorn State, 6-13

And the winner of the 2021 Vitale Cupcake non-conference schedule is ... Minnesota!

Playing two teams with winning records last season (Mississippi State and Western Kentucky) gives new coach Ben Johnson an "edge" in the cupcake schedule. Eight opponents had losing records last season. Five opponents were seven games below .500 or worse.

Enjoy the start of the 2021-22 college basketball season, it's going to be awesome, baby!

The 17th annual Dick Vitale Gala, benefiting the V Foundation, will be held May 6, 2022, at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota, Florida. For more information visit dickvitaleonline.com.