DENVER - The University of Denver men's basketball team faces its most challenging schedule in the team's NCAA Division I history in 2012-13, sixth-year head coach Joe Scott announced Tuesday. DU will host 15 games at Magness Arena and will play 11 teams that participated in the 2012 postseason.
The Pioneers schedule features several games against top-ranked athletic and academic institutions, highlighted by a home game against Cal (Nov. 16) and a road meeting with Stanford (Dec. 2), both of which are expected to compete for the Pac-12 championship this season.
The home schedule also features marquee games against Mountain West Conference rival Colorado State (Nov. 21), and Western Athletic Conference rivals Utah State (Jan. 19) and New Mexico State (March 2). The road slate includes challenging road trips to Conference USA's Southern Mississippi (Nov. 27), Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference's Iona (Dec. 11) and the Mountain West's Wyoming (Dec. 18).
Based on last year's final RPI rankings, the average RPI of Denver's 2012-13 nonconference opponents was 107, an increase from the 145 average of last season's nonconference opponents.
"This is the most challenging schedule in Denver's Division I history," Scott said. "We will face teams from very good conferences that went to the postseason last year. Our nonconference opponents averaged 20 wins last season, and five of them won at least 24 games. Our schedule has become more demanding every season, and that's what we need in order to continue our improvement."
After opening the season at Magness Arena against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Nov. 14), Denver will face six-straight 2012 postseason teams, the first of 11 DU opponents that played into March last year.
The Pioneers will host the Golden Bears and Rams, and travel to Southern Miss and Iona, which all played in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. DU also takes on Stanford on the road and Mercer (Dec. 5) of the Atlantic Sun Conference at home, which claimed championships in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) and CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT), respectively.
Home games against Nebraska-Omaha (Dec. 15) and Southern Utah (Dec. 21) are sandwiched around a trip to Wyoming to face a Cowboys team that played in the 2012 College Basketball Invitational (CBI).
Additionally, the Pioneers are scheduled to play a Bracket Buster game between Feb. 21-23 with the opponent, time and location to be announced at a later date.
The Pioneers will play home-and-home series against all nine WAC opponents, beginning on the road at Louisiana Tech (Dec. 29) and Texas-Arlington (Dec. 31) before returning home to take on Texas State (Jan. 3) and Texas-San Antonio (Jan. 6).
The remaining WAC home schedule features San Jose State (Jan. 17), Seattle (Feb. 7), Idaho (Feb. 9), UT-Arlington (March 7) and Louisiana Tech (March 9).
The road slate also sends the Pioneers to Idaho (Jan. 10), Seattle (Jan. 12), New Mexico State (Jan. 23), UTSA (Jan. 31), Texas State (Feb. 2), Utah State (Feb. 14) and San Jose State (Feb. 16).
"Our players, coaches and fans look forward to competing in the Western Athletic Conference this season," Scott said. "The league is always very competitive with good players on every team. We need to continue the progress we made last year winning 22 games and use our tough nonconference schedule to get us ready for league play."
The Western Athletic Conference Tournament will be held at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., from March 12-16. The winner of the WAC Tournament championship will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Men's basketball season tickets for the 2012-13 Denver Pioneers are currently on sale. DU continues its commitment to provide the community with the most affordable and exciting entertainment in the Denver metro area. Ticket packages start at $64.
Individual game tickets will go on sale in October with prices starting at $9 for adults. DU students get into the game free with their Pioneer Card.
For ticket information, please visit DenverPioneers.com or call the Pioneer Basketball Ticket Hotline at (303) 871-HOOP.