NIU Men's Basketball Completes 2010-11 Schedule
Aug. 23, 2010
DEKALB, Ill. - Head men's basketball coach Ricardo Patton unveiled the Huskies' complete 2010-11 schedule Monday, a slate that features 14 home games, Northwestern's first-ever trip to DeKalb, six opponents that played in the 2010 postseason, and five key home games down the stretch of the Mid-American Conference regular season.
The Huskies will face 2010 NCAA Tournament participants Temple (12/18), Missouri (12/27) and Ohio (2/5), along with Kent State (2/12) and Northwestern, who both played in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) last March. Akron, who the Huskies will face at home on Jan. 26, earned a trip to the College Basketball Invitational (CBI).
"Our non-conference schedule is certainly challenging, and it will be exciting to play a lot of those games," said Patton. "If you look at our league, no one is playing a tougher non-conference schedule than we are. It also has some local flavor when you talk about opening the season with Northwestern at home, and playing DePaul. I think it's the type of schedule that our fans want us to play, and more importantly, one that is going to prepare us for conference play."
NIU and Northwestern will open the campaign at the Convocation Center on Friday, Nov. 12, marking the first time the Wildcats have played at either Chick Evans Field House or the Convocation Center. Other home opponents during the non-conference season include Cardinal Stritch (11/21), Boise State (11/29), Illinois-Chicago (12/14) and a New Year's Eve outing versus Utah Valley.
Return road games from the 2009-10 campaign include trips to Bradley (11/16), Maryland Eastern Shore (11/24) and Temple. The Huskies will also resume their respective in-state rivalries with DePaul (12/2) and Southern Illinois (12/22) on the road, and make the trip to Ames, Iowa, to take on Iowa State on Jan. 3.
The Huskies will open MAC play at home versus Ball State on Saturday, Jan. 8, the first of five-consecutive games versus division foes. MAC-East crossover play begins on Wednesday, Jan. 26, when NIU hosts Akron, which advanced to the MAC Championship game last season. The Huskies will also host Bowling Green (2/2) and Kent State (2/12) in MAC-East crossover action.
Northern Illinois will travel to Buffalo (1/29), Ohio (2/5) and Miami (Ohio) (2/9) in crossover road games, before hosting Western Michigan (2/15), Central Michigan (2/23) and Eastern Michigan (3/2) down the stretch of the regular season. The Huskies will also face an undetermined non-conference foe for the ESPNU BracketBusters game at the Convocation Center on Saturday, Feb. 19. It will mark NIU's first home game in the BracketBusters series since the 2006-07 campaign.
"We start out (in MAC play) with quite a few games on the road, but have a good stretch of home games near the end," Patton said. "Like anything else, it's not about how you start, but how you finish the season. In February and March, you really need to be playing your best basketball."
The Huskies' lone exhibition game will be played at the Convocation Center against Coe College on Saturday, Nov. 6. The MAC Tournament will begin on March 7, with first-round games scheduled at the campus site of the higher seed. The top four seeds, which include both division champions, receive automatic byes into the quarterfinals, to be played at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
Ticket information for the 2010-11 season, as well as game times, will be released at a later date.
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