Tentative NU Men’s Basketball Schedule
A minimum of 16 games against teams that reached postseason play a year ago highlight the 2010-2011 men's basketball schedule announced Thursday afternoon
The 30-game schedule features non-conference home games against USC, TCU and Creighton, three games in the prestigious Puerto Rico Tip-Off including an first-round game against SEC power Vanderbilt, and an always rigorous Big 12 slate. The Huskers will be tested right out of the gate and could play as many as seven teams that advanced to the postseason in their first eight contests.
“Overall, it is one of the most challenging schedules we have faced in my five years here, especially with the tournament in San Juan,” Nebraska Coach Doc Sadler said. “I also think we have some really good home games for our fans. When you add that tournament to playing in a league that has been the top-rated conference in two of the last four year and looks to be just as strong again this year, it will be a good challenge for us.”
Televised games determined through the league's TV contracts have also been announced with the Huskers set to be seen 10 times on the ESPN family of networks or the Big 12 Network during conference play, including an ESPN2 match up against Colorado on Tuesday, Jan. 18 and three appearances on ESPNU (Jan. 15 at Kansas, Feb. 16 at Oklahoma and Feb. 23 vs. Kansas State). The Nebraska Athletic Department is also working with Fox Sports to televise select games for the upcoming season and those broadcasts will be announced at a later date.
Ticket renewals for fans who held season tickets last year will be mailed shortly. New ticket packages will go on sale at Huskers.com and the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office beginning Monday, Aug. 9. Season tickets are available for as little as $99, as ticket prices remained the same as last year.
The Huskers, who return four of their top-five scorers from a team that went 15-18 a year ago, begin the season on Friday, Nov. 12, at the Bob Devaney Sports Center taking on a South Dakota team that went 22-10 and lost to Creighton in the 2009 CIT. The Huskers then take on NCAA qualifier Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Nov. 15.
Nebraska then hits the road for the highlight of the non-conference schedule, a three-day tournament in Puerto Rico from Nov. 18-19 and Nov. 21. It marks the fourth time Nebraska has played in a tournament in Puerto Rico and the first since the 2000-01 campaign. The field is highlighted by 2010 Final Four participant West Virginia along with North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Minnesota, Hofstra, Western Kentucky and Davidson and a majority of the tournament will be televised nationally on ESPNU or ESPN2. The Huskers will face Vanderbilt in the first round, as the Commodores went 24-9 and finished second in the SEC with a 12-4 mark. Tipoff for the ESPNU national telecast is set for 12:30 p.m. (central). Nebraska would either face West Virginia (31-7) or Davidson in the second round.
“I'm excited with the mixture of teams we have on the schedule and the challenges we are going to face,” Sadler added. “The tournament in San Juan is the very good tournament and it is the most challenging non-conference tournament field we have played since I've been here. We are fortunate to have the 10 days of practice and the trip to the Bahamas before the season because we are going to have to play at a higher level out of the gate than in past years.”
Following the trip to Puerto Rico, the Huskers return to the Devaney Center for an extended homestand. Nebraska welcomes USC to Lincoln on Saturday, Nov. 27 to open the 2010-11 edition of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series. The Huskers won the first game of the two-game series with USC, 51-48, in Los Angeles last season.
After a matchup with CIT qualifier Jackson State (Dec. 1), the Huskers welcome Creighton to the Devaney Center on Sunday, Dec. 5. Nebraska has won the last two matchups in Lincoln against the Bluejays in Lincoln under Sadler, including a 54-52 win in 2008. The Bluejays won 18 games a year ago and advanced to the semifinals of the CIT.
After a game with Alcorn State, Nebraska continues its series with TCU on Saturday, Dec. 11, as the Huskers have won two straight in the series, including a 90-77 win in Lincoln last November. The Huskers will close out the year with matchups with Eastern Washington (Dec. 18), Grambling (Dec. 21) before opening January with non-conference tilts against North Dakota (Jan. 2) and Savannah State (Jan. 5), setting the stage for Big 12 action.
The Huskers open Big 12 play at home for just the fifth time in 15 seasons of Big 12 action when they host Iowa State on Jan. 8 at the Devaney Center. NU then begin a stretch where it takes on eight postseason teams in a nine-game stretch with trips to Missouri (Jan. 12) and Kansas (Jan. 15). The Kansas matchup is the first of back-to-back national telecasts, as Nebraska returns home to take on Colorado on ESPN2 on Tuesday, Jan. 18. The Huskers close out the month of January with a trip to Texas Tech (Jan. 22) before hosting Texas A&M (Jan. 29).
February will be a big month to see the Huskers on television, as seven of the eight games are slated to be televised. Nebraska travels to Manhattan, Kan., for a matchup with a Kansas State team that lost in the Elite Eight a year ago on Feb. 2. The Huskers welcome Kansas to the Devaney Center on Saturday, Feb. 5, before squaring off with fellow Elite Eight qualifier Baylor in Waco on Feb. 9. All three of those matchups will be on the Big 12 Network.
Nebraska returns home to face NCAA qualifier Oklahoma State on Feb. 12 to begin a stretch of three home games in a four-game span. NU's only road trip is contest at Oklahoma (Feb. 16) before the Huskers return home to face Texas (Feb. 19) and Kansas State (Feb. 23). Nebraska wraps up the regular season with road trips to Iowa State (Feb. 26) and Colorado (March 5) sandwiched around the final home game of the season, a matchup with Missouri on Tuesday, March. 1.