2012-13 Men's Basketball Schedule Released

Aug. 21, 2012

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2012-13 Men's Basketball Schedule Page

Albuquerque, N.M. --- Head men's basketball coach Steve Alford has announced the 2012-13 schedule, and it is packed with postseason teams, conference champions, and a host of national television contests. In all, the Lobos will play 31 total games, 16 at home, plus two home exhibitions.

The non-conference schedule will see three top 100 RPI teams come to The Pit in Davidson (RPI 64) for the season opener, which is a part of ESPN's 24 Hours of College Basketball, along with South Dakota State (RPI 42), and Valparaiso (RPI 95). Davison won the Southern Conference and went 25-8, losing to Louisville in the NCAA Tournament's Second Round. South Dakota State was the Summit League champions at 27-8, and lost in the NCAA Tournament's Second Round to Baylor in The Pit, and Valpo was 22-12 and the regular season champions of the Horizon League.

Along with Davidson, two other non-conference home games will be on national television as UNM hosts USC of the Pac-12 on December 5, and WAC champions New Mexico State on December 15, both games on CBS Sports Network.

"I'm very excited about our schedule. It's a very demanding schedule with a number of difficult home games and some very challenging road games," said Alford. "To get ESPN back in our building during the regular season to open up college basketball in the ESPN Marathon is very exciting for our program."

UNM's other nonconference home games are against Idaho (Nov. 23), Portland (Nov. 25), and Mercer (Nov. 28). Idaho last season went 19-14 in advancing to the second round of the CIT, while Mercer was the CIT champions, going 27-11. Mercer is also a potential second round opponent for UNM in the Paradise Jam. It also means for the third straight year, UNM will be playing a postseason national tournament winner. In 2010, the Lobos played NIT champions Dayton, and last year UNM played CIT winners Santa Clara.

The Jam, taking place in St. Thomas of the Virgin Islands, will have all three contests of Fox Sports. The Lobos open the Jam with UIC on November 16, before facing off with either George Mason or Mercer, both 20+ game winners last year. The final day of the Jam, Nov. 19, will see UNM face off with either Wake Forest, Quinnipiac, Iona, or UConn. Iona and UConn both made the NCAA Tournament last year. UConn (32), Iona (40), and George Mason (82) all had top 100 RPIs last year.

"We have some BCS schools on our schedule again, and our road trips are going to be extremely demanding with a game at Cincinnati that will be on ESPN2, and then concluding that trip at Saint Louis, two very good NCAA Tournament teams."

UNM's four road games feature three teams that won 26 games last year, including both Cincinnati (26-11, Sweet 16, RPI 43) and Saint Louis (26-8, NCAA Third Round, RPI 31). UNM's other road games are against New Mexico State (26-10, NCAA Second Round, RPI of 59), and Indiana State (18-15, CIT First Round).

"I really like our non-league schedule, and then in the Mountain West, it's just going to be another grind in league play. We are the defending champions and hopefully we can do the things we need to do to defend that title."

Mountain West play begins with home games on January 9 and January 12 with UNLV and Fresno State. The Mountain West will have a new look with TCU leaving the league, but with the additions of Fresno State and Nevada. UNM will celebrate senior night on Saturday, March 2 against Wyoming before hitting the road for the final two home games on March 6 and March 9 at Nevada and Air Force. The Reese's Mountain West Tournament is March 12-16 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

UNM will play eight conference games on national television, four each on CBS Sports Network, and four on NBC Sports Network.

NOTES: In all, UNM will play at least 20 games against postseason teams (12 NCAA - Davidson, New Mexico State twice, South Dakota State, Cincinnati, Saint Louis, Colorado State twice, San Diego State twice, and UNLV twice; three NIT - Nevada twice and Valparaiso; three CIT - Idaho, Mercer, and Indiana State, and two CBI - Wyoming twice). UNM could play up to two more in the Paradise Jam ... Only two of UNM's 12 scheduled home or away non-conference games have RPIs below 150, and one of those teams is USC, who is expected to contend for the Pac-12 title this year. The average number of wins for those 12 teams is 21.3 ... UNM will play four December home games. The Lobos haven't lost a December home game since 2006 ... with all of the conference tournament games scheduled to be televised, at least half of all of UNM's games will be broadcast nationally ... the regional television package will be announced sometime in early to mid-September ... The USC and Saint Louis games are the back-end of home-and-homes, while the Cincinnati game is the start of a home-and-home ... If UNM plays both Mercer and Iona in the Paradise Jam, UNM would play 15 of its 31 games against teams that won at least 25 games last year.