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Non-Conference Opponents

Jul 29, 2013

Basketball Central

STANFORD, Calif.- Stanford’s Anne and Tony Joseph Director of Men’s Basketball Johnny Dawkins has announced the 2013-14 men’s basketball schedule, which features 17 home games at Maples Pavilion, nine contests against NCAA Tournament teams from last season and a pair of trips to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The challenging non-conference slate includes a neutral-site matchup against 2013 NCAA runner-up Michigan and the start of a home-and-home series against Connecticut. Home games against BYU and Bucknell, along with a potential tournament matchup against Pittsburgh, will provide the Cardinal with an opportunity to quickly establish a high RPI before Pac-12 competition gets underway during the first week of January.

The conference portion of the schedule remains tentative, as exact dates, times and order of opponents are likely to change due to television agreements. The Pac-12, which produced five NCAA Tournament squads last year, will announce its full schedule at a later date.

Included among the 17 home games is a Nov. 2 exhibition against Seattle Pacific, which last year finished ranked No. 2 nationally in Division II.

Stanford will open its season at home for the first time in two years when Bucknell visits The Farm on Nov. 8. The Bison are coming off a record-setting 28-6 campaign, advancing to the NCAA Tournament behind program scoring leader Mike Muscala. It’s the first meeting between Stanford and Bucknell, which is facing a Pac-12 opponent for the first time since upsetting Arizona in the first round of the 2012 Postseason NIT.

Three days later, Stanford hosts BYU as part of ESPN’s 24-hour Tip-Off Marathon. The Cougars are coming of a 24-12 campaign in which they reached the semifinals of the Postseason NIT, falling to eventual champion Baylor at Madison Square Garden. A postseason fixture with 38 total appearances (27 NCAA, 11 NIT), BYU placed third in the WCC last year at 10-6. BYU will be playing its first game at Maples Pavilion since Jan. 4, 1969, one night after the Cougars defeated the Cardinal 95-89 in the first game ever played at the facility.

The three-game homestand wraps up Nov. 14 against Northwestern, which has quickly become a familiar opponent on Stanford’s non-conference schedule. The Cardinal is 5-2 all-time against the Wildcats, with four of those wins coming over the last seven years. Stanford won last year’s meeting in Evanston 70-68, thanks to a late three-pointer from Aaron Bright and double-double from Josh Huestis. Led by first-year head coach Chris Collins, Northwestern is seeking its first-ever NCAA Tournament berth.

Stanford’s first road game of the year presents an immediate obstacle, as the Cardinal visits Denver on Nov. 17. Transitioning into the Summit League, Denver claimed a share of the WAC championship and matched its school record with 22 victories despite being the eighth-youngest team in the nation. Denver notched its first postseason victory in program history, defeating Ohio before falling at Maryland in the Postseason NIT. Stanford is 8-2 all-time against Denver, having won five in a row after last year’s 71-58 triumph at Maples Pavilion.

Stanford next participates in the seventh annual Legends Classic tournament, held Nov. 25-26 at the Barclays Center. Also headlining the Legends Classic field are Houston, Pittsburgh and Texas Tech. The four schools will each host a pair of regional round games on campus (Stanford welcomes Texas Southern on Nov. 21, South Dakota State on Dec. 1) before meeting at the Barclays Center for the championship rounds, which will be aired on the ESPN family of networks.

Texas Southern closed out the year on a 12-game winning streak, capturing the SWAC regular-season title. South Dakota State is coming off a 25-10 campaign that resulted in an NCAA Tournament berth. Stanford will be playing both schools for the first time.

Houston finished 20-13 last year, posting its first 20-win season since the 2008-09 campaign and reaching the quarterfinals of the College Basketball Invitational (CBI). The Cougars have been to 19 NCAA Tournaments and five Final Fours. Stanford is 1-2 all-time against Houston, with its only victory coming in the form of a 93-86 decision to ignite the 1991 NIT championship run.

Pittsburgh wrapped up last year 24-9 overall and was fourth in the Big East at 12-6. The Panthers are coming off their 24th NCAA Tournament appearance, including 11 bids in the last 12 years. Making the transition to the ACC, head coach Jamie Dixon returns three starters and six of last season's top 10 scorers. Stanford is 1-1 all-time against Pittsburgh, although the teams will be hooking up for the first time since 1949.

Texas Tech is coming off an 11-20 campaign but there is excitement in Lubbock under the direction of first-year head coach Tubby Smith, who has 511 wins and 17 NCAA Tournament appearances under his belt. Smith inherits a roster that returns 10 players from a year ago, led by senior forward Jaye Crockett, who posted team highs of 11.9 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Stanford is 3-1 all-time against Texas Tech, with all four of those matchups taking place consecutively from 2006-09.

After its traditional extended break for dead week and finals, Stanford returns to action on Dec. 14 against UC Davis. The Cardinal is 16-1 all-time against the Aggies, who finished 14-17 last year and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Big West Tournament.

A grueling road swing follows, with Stanford traveling to Connecticut on Dec. 18 for the first contest of a home-and-home series that will close with the Huskies visiting Maples Pavilion in 2014. Shifting to the newly-formed American Athletic Conference, Connecticut finished last year 20-10 overall and tied for sixth place in the BIG EAST at 10-8. Stanford is looking for its first win in five attempts against Connecticut, with the Huskies collecting an 85-74 victory back on March 22, 2003 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament during the previous meeting.

Stanford next returns to the Barclays Center, squaring off against 2013 NCAA runner-up Michigan to showcase the second annual Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational presented by adidas in a triple-header on Dec. 21. The event also features Long Island facing Temple and Manhattan taking on Buffalo.

Michigan (31-8, 12-6 Big Ten) matched its best win total in school history this past season, advancing to its first national championship game since 1993 in an 82-76 loss to Louisville. A top-10 fixture in both national polls for the entire season, the Wolverines opened the year with 16 consecutive victories. Head coach John Beilein enters his seventh season having guided Michigan to a 122-85 overall record and four NCAA Tournament appearances. Stanford owns a 3-1 all-time record against Michigan, although this will be the first meeting between the schools since a 59-52 Cardinal victory back on Dec. 29, 1959 at the Pacific Coast Tournament in Los Angeles, Calif.

The non-conference slate wraps up on Dec. 29 with a home game against Cal Poly, which finished 18-14 overall last year, shocked UCLA on the road for a signature victory and earned a CIT postseason bid. Stanford is 5-1 all-time against Cal Poly, including a 70-53 victory in the team’s most recent meeting on Nov. 15, 2009.

Stanford’s Pac-12 ledger will include matchups against five NCAA Tournament teams (Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, UCLA) from last year. This year’s scheduling alignment has the Cardinal playing all league opponents twice, with the exception of Colorado/Utah (home only) and Oregon/Oregon State (road only).

Stanford (19-15, 9-9 Pac-12) advanced to the postseason for the second straight year, reaching the second round of the NIT after winning the event in 2012. Stanford wrapped up non-conference play at 10-5, including wins over Northern Iowa and Northwestern. In Pac-12 action, Stanford swept the season series against California for the first time since 2008 and notched a 76-52 upset of No. 10/12 Oregon at Maples Pavilion.