Kansas, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Pepperdine Headline 2002-03 UO Men's Basketball Schedule

Aug. 21, 2002

EUGENE - A rematch of the 2002 NCAA Midwest Regional Final, pitting Oregon against Kansas Dec. 7 in the Rose Garden, and a trip across the country to play Cincinnati for the Jimmy V Classic highlight the 2002-03 Duck men's basketball schedule.

Following a pair exhibitions on Nov. 6 and 14, Oregon opens the regular season on Nov. 24 by hosting the four-team John Thompson Foundation Challenge at McArthur Court, where the Ducks have won 16 straight. Oregon will play Grambling State in the opening round, while Cal State Northridge and Jacksonville meet in the other half of the bracket. The championship and consolation final will be played the following night. Next, Oregon hosts 20 game-winner Pacific, returning to the schedule for the first time since the 1993-94 season, on Nov. 30.

Both Portland schools are back on the schedule for third time in the last four years as the Ducks continue their tradition of playing all their in-state Division I rivals. After defeating Oregon last season for the first time since 1964, Portland travels to Eugene Dec. 4, while the Ducks will visit Portland State Jan. 15 in the middle of the Pac-10 season. Oregon and PSU did not meet last season.

The December slate heats up when Kansas travels to Portland to play in the annual Pape Jam, Dec. 7 at the Rose Garden. The Ducks and Jayhawks met in the 2002 NCAA Tournament's Midwest Regional Final, March 24 at Madison, Wis. Then it's a two-game road trip that finds Oregon playing at Pepperdine Dec. 14, before heading to the Meadowlands in New Jersey to meet Cincinnati in the Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 17. Both the Waves and Bearcats were NCAA Tournament teams a year ago.

Following the first-ever meeting between the Ducks and Florida A&M on Dec. 20, Minnesota will become the first Big Ten team to visit McArthur Court in 14 years when the Golden Gophers come calling on Dec. 22. UC Riverside rounds out the month with a Dec. 28 contest in Eugene.

'It's arguably the most challenging preseason schedule Oregon has played in a long time and the teams we will face in the preseason - Kansas, Cincinnati, Pepperdine and Minnesota - will be every bit as good as the teams we will face in the Pac-10,' said Oregon head coach Ernie Kent. 'Our program has reached a level where we need to compete against these teams to help us prepare for another outstanding Pacific-10 Conference race.'

The Pac-10 portion gets underway Jan. 2 at Mac Court with a showdown of potentially the conference's top two teams - Oregon and Arizona. The Ducks will also host Arizona State (Jan. 4), Oregon State (Jan. 18), Washington (Jan. 23) and Washington State (Jan. 25) during the month of January. The Pac-10 Tournament returns to the Staples Center in Los Angeles, March 13-15.

In all, Oregon will play 13 games against 2002 NCAA Tournament teams, plus another against 2002 NIT participant Minnesota. Another indication of the Ducks' strength of the schedule is the fact that 11 of 21 opponents won at least 18 games last season: Kansas - 33, Cincinnati - 31, Arizona - 24, California - 23, USC - 22, Pepperdine - 22, UCLA - 21, Stanford - 20, Pacific - 20, Minnesota - 18, and Jacksonville - 18.

2002-30 season ticket renewals are currently underway, and any remaining single-game tickets will go on sale in October.

Schedule notes: Oregon is returning to its historical roots by playing a combination of high-profile national teams and regional opponents. The Ducks will face five non-conference teams from the West Coast (UC Riverside, Pacific, Pepperdine, Portland and Portland State), with a potential for a sixth (Cal State Northridge) in the John Thompson Foundation Challenge. Oregon has never played Cincinnati, Florida A&M or Jacksonville. Oregon and Grambling State have met once before with the Ducks winning 42-38 in coach Ernie Kent's senior season (1976-77), while Oregon and UC Riverside have just one previous meeting, a Duck win in 1981-82. Oregon enters the season needing eight wins for school's 1,300th victory. In 97 seasons, the Ducks have a 1,292-1,151 all-time record.

OREGON 2002-03 MEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE

NOVEMBER	6	Wednesday		BASKETBALL TRAVELERS (EX.)	McArthur Court	14	Thursday		CALIFORNIA ALL-STARS (EX.)	McArthur Court	24	Sunday	&	GRAMBLING STATE	McArthur Court			&	Cal State Northridge vs. Jacksonville	25	Monday	&	Championship	McArthur Court			&	Consolation Final	30	Saturday		PACIFIC	McArthur Court

DECEMBER 4 Wednesday PORTLAND McArthur Court 7 Saturday % KANSAS Rose Garden 14 Saturday Pepperdine Malibu, Calif. 17 Tuesday * Cincinnati East Rutherford, N.J. 20 Friday FLORIDA A&M McArthur Court 22 Sunday MINNESOTA McArthur Court 28 Saturday UC RIVERSIDE McArthur Court

JANUARY 2 Thursday # ARIZONA McArthur Court 4 Saturday # ARIZONA STATE McArthur Court 9 Thursday # at California Berkeley, Calif. 11 Saturday # at Stanford Stanford, Calif. 15 Wednesday at Portland State Portland, Ore. 18 Saturday # OREGON STATE McArthur Court 23 Thursday # WASHINGTON McArthur Court 25 Saturday # WASHINGTON STATE McArthur Court 30 Thursday # at UCLA Los Angeles, Calif.

FEBRUARY 1 Saturday # at USC Los Angeles, Calif. 6 Thursday # STANFORD McArthur Court 8 Saturday # CALIFORNIA McArthur Court 15 Saturday # at Oregon State Corvallis, Ore. 20 Thursday # at Washington State Pullman, Wash. 22 Saturday # at Washington Seattle, Wash. 27 Thursday # USC McArthur Court

MARCH 1 Saturday # UCLA McArthur Court 6 Thursday # at Arizona State Tempe, Ariz. 8 Saturday # at Arizona Tucson, Ariz. 13-15 Thurs.-Sat. + Pac-10 Tournament Los Angeles, Calif. 20-23 Thurs.-Sun. NCAA 1st & 2nd Rounds TBA 27-30 Thurs.-Sun. NCAA Regionals TBA 4/5-7 Sat.-Mon. NCAA Final Four New Orleans, La.

& John Thompson Foundation Challenge (McArthur Court, Eugene, Ore.) % Pape Jam (Rose Garden, Portland, Ore.) * Jimmy V Classic (Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, N.J.) + Pacific-10 Conference Tournament (Staples Center, Los Angeles, Calif.) # Pacific-10 game

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