WACO (August 14, 2012) -- Baylor revealed its 2012-13 men’s basketball non-conference schedule on Tuesday, headlined by road games at defending national champion Kentucky and Gonzaga and home contests against BYU and Northwestern.
The Bears are scheduled for 15 games against 2012 NCAA Tournament teams, and with two opponents in the Charleston Classic to be determined, Baylor could play as many as 17 of 31 regular-season games against NCAA Tournament teams from a season ago.
“Last season in mid-January we had the No. 1-rated strength of schedule in the country,” head coach Scott Drew said. “With the teams we’re playing this year, we have a chance to have an even tougher schedule.”
Baylor opens the 2012-13 slate by hosting an exhibition against Abilene Christian on Oct. 25 at the Ferrell Center. The Bears’ first regular-season game is against Lehigh on Nov. 9, and Baylor hosts Jackson State two days later in its final tune-up before the Charleston Classic. Lehigh gained national attention in March after knocking off No. 2 seed Duke in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Baylor’s schedule at the ESPN Charleston Classic features an opening round game against Boston College on Nov. 15, followed by a game against either Colorado or Dayton the following day. Both of those games will be televised on ESPNU, and the Bears will play a third game on Nov. 18 against one of four teams on the other side of the bracket. BU then returns home to host College of Charleston on Nov. 24 in a non-bracketed game as part of the Classic.
“The ESPN events are historically tremendous RPI tournaments, and they really help you find out about your team and identify areas that need to be improved the rest of the season,” Drew said. “The Charleston Classic is no exception to this, and it’ll be another great ESPN tournament.”
The Bears then head to Kentucky to take on the defending national champions at Rupp Arena on Dec. 1. Kentucky has the nation’s longest active winning streak at 52 games, and the Wildcats’ 51-game winning streak at Rupp Arena is also the nation’s best current streak.
“The Kentucky game provides us another great opportunity to improve our basketball team and get a chance to compare ourselves with the nation’s elite,” said Drew.
Baylor then returns home for four consecutive games, as the Bears host Northwestern (12/4), Lamar (12/12), USC Upstate (12/17) and BYU (12/21).
“We know Baylor Nation always loves when we are able to play some marquee non-conference home games, and this year we’ll have that with BYU and Northwestern,” Drew said.
BU will play in another raucous environment on Dec. 28, when the Bears travel to Spokane, Wash., to face Gonzaga. The Bulldogs have lost only seven home games since “The Kennel” opened in 2004.
“With a 104-7 home record in the last eight years, this game will definitely help prepare us for Big 12 road games,” Drew said. “This is undoubtedly one of the tougher road trips a team can take into a hostile environment.”
Baylor’s final non-conference game is scheduled for Jan. 19 against Hardin-Simmons in Waco. That game will be played between a pair of ESPN Big Monday games, as the Bears play nationally televised games at Kansas (1/14) and at home against Oklahoma State (1/21).
The Bears are scheduled to play 17 of 18 Big 12 Conference games on television, and additional television announcements will be made in the near future.
Complete 2012-13 Baylor Men’s Basketball Schedule
10/25 Abilene Christian (Exh.) Waco, Texas 7 p.m.
11/9 Lehigh Waco, Texas 9 p.m.
11/11 Jackson State Waco, Texas TBD
***11/15-11/18 Charleston Classic Charleston, S.C.***
11/15 vs. Boston College Charleston, S.C. ESPNU 2 p.m.
11/16 vs. Colorado/Dayton Charleston, S.C. ESPNU TBD
11/18 TBD Charleston, S.C. ESPN network TBD TBD
11/24 College of Charleston Waco, Texas TBD
12/1 at Kentucky Lexington, Ky. 11:30 a.m.
12/4 Northwestern Waco, Texas 8 p.m.
12/12 Lamar Waco, Texas 9 p.m.
12/17 USC Upstate Waco, Texas 7 p.m.
12/21 BYU Waco, Texas TBD
12/28 at Gonzaga Spokane, Wash. 7 p.m.
1/5 Texas Waco, Texas ESPNU 1 p.m.
1/8 at Texas Tech Lubbock, Texas ESPN2 6 p.m.
1/12 TCU Waco, Texas TBD
1/14 at Kansas Lawrence, Kan. ESPN Big Monday 8 p.m.
1/19 Hardin-Simmons Waco, Texas TBD
1/21 Oklahoma State Waco, Texas ESPN Big Monday 4:30 p.m.
1/26 at TCU Fort Worth, Texas Big 12 Network 3 p.m.
1/30 Oklahoma Waco, Texas ESPNU 6 p.m.
2/2 at Iowa State Ames, Iowa ESPN2 7 p.m.
2/6 at Oklahoma State Stillwater, Okla. ESPN2 8 p.m.
2/9 Texas Tech Waco, Texas Big 12 Network 3 p.m.
2/13 West Virginia Waco, Texas ESPN2 8 p.m.
2/16 at Kansas State Manhattan, Kan. ESPNU 6 p.m.
2/20 Iowa State Waco, Texas ESPNU 8 p.m.
2/23 at Oklahoma Norman, Okla. ESPNU 4 p.m.
2/27 at West Virginia Morgantown, W.V. Big 12 Network 7 p.m.
3/2 Kansas State Waco, Texas ESPN2 6 p.m.
3/4 at Texas Austin, Texas ESPN Big Monday 8 p.m.
3/9 Kansas Waco, Texas ESPN 5 p.m.
***3/13-3/16 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship Kansas City, Mo.***