ST. LOUIS – Saint Louis head men’s basketball coach Rick Majerus today announced the Billikens’ 2011-12 schedule. Saint Louis will play at least 17 matchups against teams that advanced to the postseason last year. In addition, SLU will play up to 18 games against teams that posted a winning record a season ago.
The challenging non-conference slate kicks off Friday, Nov. 11, when SLU welcomes Tennessee State to Chaifetz Arena. The Billikens’ first road game takes them to Carbondale, Ill., to face Southern Illinois Tuesday, Nov. 15.
Former Billiken head coach Lorenzo Romar brings his Washington Huskies, who advanced to the Sweet 16 last year, into Chaifetz Arena Sunday, Nov. 20. That game will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network (formerly CBS College Sports). The Billikens will make a return trip to Seattle for a game next year.
The tough stretch continues as the Billikens travel to California for the 76 Classic. SLU opens the tourney on ESPNU against NIT participant Boston College on Thanksgiving. Last year, the Golden Eagles advanced to the NIT en route to a 20-win season. Villanova, an NCAA tournament participant last season, is a potential opponent in the second round. Possible third-round opponents are New Mexico (NIT), Washington State (NIT), Santa Clara (CIT) and Oklahoma. The Billikens will stay in southern California and start a home-and-home series with Loyola Marymount Tuesday, Nov. 29.
The Billikens are home for most of December, welcoming the following to Chaifetz Arena: Portland (Dec. 3), Vermont (Dec. 7), Alabama State (Dec. 17), Arkansas State (Dec. 22) and Texas Southern (Dec. 27). Portland won 20 games last year and advanced to the CIT. Vermont played in the NIT, while Alabama State participated in the inaugural “First Four” in the NCAA Tournament. Texas Southern went 19-13 last season and advanced to the NIT. An additional home game on Saturday, Dec. 10, will be announced at a later date.
SLU’s final non-conference game is slated for New Year’s Eve when the Billikens travel to Albuquerque to play New Mexico in The Pit. The Lobos, who went 22-13 last season and participated in the NIT, will make a return trip to Chaifetz Arena in the 2012-13 season.
The 16-game A-10 slate begins Wednesday, Jan. 4, as the Billikens visit Dayton. In a reverse home/away format from last season, the Billikens play the following squads at Chaifetz Arena: George Washington (Jan. 7), Temple (Jan. 11), Duquesne (Jan. 21), St. Bonaventure (Feb. 1), Dayton (Feb. 4), Richmond (Feb. 15), Fordham (Feb. 18) and Xavier (Feb. 28).
Six of the Billikens’ eight A-10 home games will be against teams that qualified for the postseason last year, including all three of the league’s NCAA Tournament participants in Richmond, Temple and Xavier. Dayton played in the NIT last season, while Duquesne and St. Bonaventure participated in the CBI.
The Billikens take conference road trips to Dayton (Jan. 4), Charlotte (Jan. 14), Xavier (Jan. 25), Massachusetts (Jan. 28), Saint Joseph’s (Feb. 8), La Salle (Feb. 11), Rhode Island (Feb. 25) and Duquesne (March 3).
The A-10 Tournament quarterfinals, semifinals and final once again will take place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. First-round games will be played on campus sites Tuesday, March 6, on the campuses of the higher-seeded teams (#5, #6, #7 and #8). The winners of those opening-round games will advance to Boardwalk Hall for the quarterfinal round on Friday, March 9. Semifinal games will be played on Saturday, March 10. The final, which will air live on CBS Sports, is scheduled for NCAA Selection Sunday, March 11, at noon (CT).
SLU hosts Cardinal Stritch in an exhibition tilt at Chaifetz Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 2. St. Ambrose visits for the final exhibition game Saturday, Nov. 5.
The Billikens have eight games currently slated for television, and a win in any of the first two games of the 76 Classic would ensure the third to be picked up by the ESPN family of networks. The complete local television package will be released at a later date.
Season tickets are available now by calling the Billiken ticket office at (314) 977-4SLU or by visiting www.slubillikens.com.