PULLMAN, Wash. – At least 16 games against 2012 postseason tournament participants and a matchup with 2012 NCAA Tournament runner-up Kansas at the CBE Classic at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., highlight the 2012-13 Washington State University men’s basketball schedule, as announced by head coach Ken Bone, Thursday.
WSU will play eight of its 13 nonconference games and nine of its 18 Pac-12 games in Pullman, for 17 contests at Beasley Coliseum this season. The Cougars will also hold ‘home’ games in Seattle and the Tri-Cities, as WSU returns to
KeyArena for the eighth-consecutive Cougar Hardwood Classic, held once again in December (Dec. 22). The Cougars conclude nonconference action in Kennewick, Wash., hosting Idaho State at the Toyota Center, Dec. 29, making their first appearance in the Tri-Cities since hosting Portland State, Dec. 19, 2009.
“Each year we try and put together a nonconference schedule that will best prepare us for Pac-12 play, and this season is no exception,” Bone said. “We are excited that we will be able to play the majority of our games in front of Cougar crowds in eastern, central and western Washington and look forward to seeing all our fans at Beasley Coliseum come November.”
The Cougars open up the season with its first two games coming in the Host Round of the College Basketball Experience (CBE) Hall of Fame Classic. WSU’s season begins with Eastern Washington, Saturday, Nov. 10. The game, which is part of the CBE Classic, will take place during WSU’s Dad’s Weekend and the same day as the Cougar football team hosts UCLA at Martin Stadium. The second game of the CBE Classic will feature WSU hosting Utah Valley, which participated in the 2012 CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT), Wednesday, Nov. 14 at Beasley Coliseum.
Before heading to Kansas City, Mo., for the Championship Rounds of the CBE Classic, the Cougars will go to Malibu, Calif., to take on Pepperdine (Nov. 16) in a rematch of last year’s Cougar Hardwood Classic. From there WSU heads to the Sprint Center for the CBE Classic. The Cougars will open the tournament against Kansas in the second game of the Semifinal Doubleheader (Nov. 19). The two teams will tip-off following the game between Texas A&M and 2012 NCAA Tournament-participant Saint Louis, which will begin at 4:30 p.m. PT. Last season the Jayhawks fell to Kentucky in the championship game of the NCAA Tournament. The following day, Nov. 20, WSU will take on either the Aggies or Billikens in the consolation game at 4 p.m. PT on ESPN 3, or the championship game following that one on ESPNU.
“We’re excited to be a part of the CBE Classic and have the opportunity to face such a traditionally strong opponent, Kansas, in the semifinals,” Bone said. “Like our last couple of tournaments, it gives us a great opportunity to face high-caliber opponents while gaining national exposure.”
The day after the football team hosts Washington in the Apple Cup, the Cougar hoopsters will host Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Nov. 24) at Beasley Coliseum. WSU hosts 2012 CIT-participant Idaho (Nov. 28) and Portland (Dec. 1) before Gonzaga comes to town Wednesday, Dec. 5. Last season Gonzaga reached the third round of the NCAA Tournament. The home team has won each of the last three meetings in the series between the Cougars and Bulldogs.
Washington State hosts two more games at Beasley Coliseum (Fresno State, Dec. 9 and Jackson State, Dec. 13) before heading to Seattle for the Cougar Hardwood Classic at KeyArena. This season the Cougars host Buffalo, which also appeared in the CIT last season, in the event scheduled for Friday, Dec. 21. With the majority of students gone for the Christmas holiday, WSU will head to Kennewick, Wash., to conclude nonconference play against Idaho State (Dec. 29).
The Cougars will open up their Pac-12 season hosting 2012 National Invitation Tournament (NIT) semifinalist-Washington in early January. The game is tentatively set for Saturday, Jan. 5, but changes could be made to the entire Pac-12 schedule due to the Pac-12 Networks. The network schedule won’t be released until late August and at that time dates will be confirmed. WSU will face the listed opponents at those locations during each weekend of conference play, but the actual game dates may slide between the conference television windows between Wednesday and Sunday.
“We are excited to play all our Pac-12 games on television via the Pac-12 Networks,” Bone said. “It gives our entire league the exposure we deserve and allows Cougar fans all over the country to experience Washington State and Pac-12 basketball. I expect a competitive conference once again this season.”
The following weekend, Washington State will head to the Bay Area to take on Stanford (Jan. 9) and California (Jan. 12). Stanford won the 2012 NIT, while California was one of two Pac-12 schools to make the NCAA Tournament. The Cougars hosted the two teams last season, but didn’t face them on the road due to the conference expansion which added Colorado and Utah last year. WSU will not host the Bay Area schools this season.
The Cougars return to Beasley Coliseum to host Utah (Jan. 16) and Colorado (Jan. 19) for the first time since the two teams joined the league. Last year’s Pac-12 Tournament-Champions, the Buffaloes reached the third round of the NCAA Tournament in 2012.
WSU hits the road again to take on 2012 NIT Participant-Oregon in Eugene, Jan. 23 (home, Feb. 16) and Oregon State in Corvallis, Jan. 26 (home, Feb. 13). The Cougars and Beavers met four times last season, two during conference play, once in the Pac-12 Tournament and for the final time in the semifinals of the College Basketball Invitational (CBI). WSU took three of the four games from OSU.
Washington State hosts the Arizona schools to end January and begin February with Arizona State coming to town Jan. 31 (away, Feb. 20) and Arizona Feb. 2 (away, Feb. 23). Last season the Wildcats appeared in the NIT. The Cougars complete the first round of Pac-12 play at USC and UCLA, Feb. 7 and 9, respectively.
The Cougars take their final Pac-12 trip to Seattle to face the Huskies, March 2. WSU will host its final Pac-12 home games in early March as it takes on UCLA March 6, before honoring its three seniors, Mike Ladd, Reggie Moore and Brock Motum, March 9 as the team hosts USC.
This season’s Pac-12 Tournament will take place in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, March 13-16.