Aug. 31, 2011
Release and Schedule PDF
CINCINNATI - The 31-game 2011-12 University of Cincinnati men's basketball schedule, announced Wednesday, features 18 regular season home dates, 15 games against NCAA Tournament-qualifying teams from last year and 13 contests on national television.
Head Coach Mick Cronin's sixth Bearcats squad opens the regular season against Alabama State, Nov. 13 at Fifth Third Arena, starting a non-conference slate that is highlighted by a trip to Georgia (Dec. 2) for the BIG EAST-SEC Challenge; the annual Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout at Xavier (Dec. 10); and a battle with Oklahoma (Dec. 29) in downtown Cincinnati at US Bank Arena. (The contest against the Sooners is considered a neutral site game and tickets will be sold seperately from the season ticket package.)
The Bearcats open the always challenging BIG EAST Conference schedule playing their first eight games against teams that advanced to the 2011 NCAA Tournament, beginning with a visit to 2011 BIG EAST Regular-Season Champion Pittsburgh on New Year's Day. Other games of note during the first month of conference play, include UC's league home opener against Notre Dame (Jan. 4), a road trip to battle defending national champion Connecticut (Jan. 18) and a home contest with Syracuse (Jan. 23) on ESPN's Big Monday.
Along with Notre Dame and Syracuse, other BIG EAST home opponents include St. John's (Jan. 7), Villanova (Jan. 14), DePaul (Feb. 4), Providence (Feb. 15), Seton Hall (Feb. 18), Louisville (Feb. 23) and Marquette (Feb. 29).
"This is as excited as I have been about the season since I have been a head coach," Cronin said. "As usual, the schedule is challenging, especially in BIG EAST play, and we need to build on what we accomplished as a team last season. We have a very good group of core guys returning and a special group of new kids coming in that will help us right away. I believe that with great leadership from our upper classmen, we can have a special season and we cannot wait to get started."
UC returns eight letterwinners and its tofrom 2010-11 in Yancy Gates (Cincinnati, Ohio/Withrow), Dion Dixon (Chicago, Ill./Crane Technical Prep), Sean Kilpatrick (White Plains, N.Y./Notre Dame Prep) and Cashmere Wright (Savannah, Ga./Urban Christian Academy) and welcomes a recruiting class tabbed among the Top 25 in the nation. The Bearcats finished last season with a 26-9 mark, tied for sixth in the BIG EAST standings and qualified for their first NCAA Tournament since 2004-05, advancing to the third round before losing to eventual national champion Connecticut.
UC is the only NCAA Division I school in the country to increase its win total in each of the last five seasons and has been ranked as high as No. 8 in the nation in some 2011-12 preseason polls. Some game times will be announced at a later date.
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-The Bearcats will play nine of their 10 non-conference games in the state of Ohio, including eight contests in the Queen City.
-Along with non-conference road games at Georgia and Xavier, the Bearcats also travel to Dayton, to take on Wright State (Dec. 14). It marks Cincinnati's first trip to Wright State in series history.
-Cincinnati plays a home-and-home series with three BIG EAST opponents: St. John's, Villanova and Marquette. Each team made last year's NCAA Tournament.
-UC tunes up for the regular season with a pair of exhibition games against McGill University (Nov. 1) and Northern Kentucky (Nov. 8) at Fifth Third Arena.