Six games against teams that advanced to postseason play a year ago highlight the University of Cincinnati men’s basketball nonconference schedule released Thursday. The complete schedule, including BIG EAST Conference games, will be announced by early September.
Included in the 13-game, nonconference slate are home games against NCAA tournament participants Alabama, New Mexico and Mississippi Valley State; neutral site contests against Marshall and Xavier; and a trip to Las Vegas to play Iowa State and either Oregon or UNLV in the Global Sports Invitational.
“We wanted to challenge ourselves with difficult games in November and December and we feel we have accomplished that goal with this nonconference schedule,” UC head coach Mick Cronin said. “We will be competing against a wide variety of teams with a mix of styles and tempos that will help prepare us for the demanding BIG EAST Conference.”
The Bearcats will play home exhibition contests against Grand Valley State (Oct. 29) and Bellarmine (Nov. 5) before opening the 2012-13 regular season against UT Martin on Nov. 5 at Fifth Third Arena. The matchup with UT Martin is the first of four consecutive home games to begin the season. The Bearcats will battle Mississippi Valley State on Nov. 13 before playing home games in the Global Sports Invitational against North Carolina A&T (Nov. 18) and Campbell (Nov. 20).
UC will travel to Las Vegas for the Thanksgiving holiday to complete its play in the Global Sports Invitational with matchups against NCAA tournament participant Iowa State on Nov. 23 and either Oregon or UNLV on Nov. 24. The Ducks reached the Postseason NIT quarterfinals a year ago while the Runnin’ Rebels advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The Bearcats play host to Alabama on Dec. 1 as part of the SEC/BIG EAST Challenge (ESPN2 at 3 p.m.) before welcoming Arkansas-Little Rock on Dec. 6 and Maryland-Eastern Shore on Dec. 8.
After the conclusion of the fall semester, UC will compete in back-to-back neutral site contests against Marshall at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston, W. Va. on Dec. 15 and Xavier in the Crosstown Classic at US Bank Arena in Cincinnati on Dec. 19 (ESPN2 at 7 p.m.).
UC’s nonconference schedule concludes with home games against Wright State on Dec. 22 and New Mexico on Dec. 27 (ESPN2 at 9 p.m.). The Lobos won 28 games last season.
Fans who would like to guarantee themselves a seat to all of the Bearcats’ basketball action this season should secure a season ticket deposit for only $50. By placing a deposit, new season ticket holders will be able to participate in the seat selection process with renewing season ticket holders. To place your deposit today, call 1-877-CATS-TIX (1-877-228-7849).
2012-13 Schedule Highlights
Team Date 2012 Record 2012 Postseason
Mississippi Valley State Nov. 13 21-13 NCAA First Round
Iowa State* Nov. 23 23-11 NCAA Third Round
Oregon* Nov.24 24-10 Postseason NIT Quarterfinals
UNLV* Nov. 24 26-9 NCAA Second Round
Alabama Dec. 1 21-12 NCAA Second Round
Xavier# Dec. 19 23-13 NCAA Regional Semifinals
New Mexico Dec. 27 28-7 NCAA Third Round
*-Contest will take place in Las Vegas. UC will play either Oregon or UNLV in the Global Sports Invitational in Las Vegas.
#-The UC-Xavier game will be played at US Bank Arena in downtown Cincinnati.