Sept. 26, 2012
The University of Minnesota men's basketball program, in conjunction with the Big Ten Conference, announced times and broadcast designations for the 2012-13 schedule today. The schedule includes 13 non-conference games and 18 conference games. All 18 conference games will be broadcast live on national television.
The Golden Gophers' conference opener against Michigan State at Williams Arena will air on Dec. 31 at 1:00 p.m. on ESPN2. In all, the Maroon and Gold may appear five times on the ESPN family of networks during the conference season at “The Barn”, and six times overall: Jan. 17 vs. Michigan (ESPN2), Feb. 14 vs. Wisconsin (ESPN2), Feb. 26 vs. Indiana (ESPN) and possibly March 2 or 3 vs. Penn State (ESPN). The Gophers/Nittany Lion matchup is designated as a CBS Wildcard game with the network and time to be decided upon no later than February 18.
Minnesota’s other ESPN2 game will be in Tallahassee, Fla. against Florida State as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Nov. 27. The Gophers are also scheduled to appear on ESPN3 against Tennessee State on Nov. 15 and South Dakota State on Dec. 4. SDSU is coming off of its best season in Division 1 that included 27 wins and the school’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Gophers and Jack Rabbits will be playing for the seventh consecutive season.
The Gophers' second Big Ten Conference game will take place on Jan. 6 when the Northwestern Wildcats visit the Twin Cities. The game will be broadcast on the BTN, one of 13 times during the conference schedule that Minnesota will appear on the conference network, including the lone matchup against Purdue on March 9 in West Lafayette. Minnesota’s other one-time opponents are Michigan and Penn State.
The Gophers open the regular season with four-straight games at Williams Arena, beginning with a matchup against American University on Fri., Nov. 9 (BTN.com). Minnesota will also play host to Toledo (Nov. 12 – BTN.com), Tennessee State (Nov. 15 – ESPN3) and Richmond (Nov. 18 - BTN) prior to the Battle 4 Atlantis over the Thanksgiving Holiday in the Bahamas. Minnesota’s game on Dec. 1 against North Florida will also appear on BTN.com.
Three of the four opening teams - American, Toledo and Tennessee State - reached the post-season in 2011-12, competing in the CollegeInsider.com tournament. Tennessee State lost to eventual champion Mercer in the first round.
Minnesota will play three games in the Bahamas as part of the Battle 4 Atlantis over the Thanksgiving Holiday. The Gophers open play on Thanksgiving Day at 2:30 p.m. Central against ACC powerhouse Duke University on AXS.tv. Minnesota will play either the University of Memphis or Virginia Commonwealth in the second round on Nov. 23. The third and final round of the tournament will be played on Nov. 24.
The remaining field includes Louisville, Missouri, Northern Iowa and Stanford, all teams that experienced post-season play last season. The entire Battle 4 Atlantis tournament will be televised live on AXS.tv, formally HDNet, and NBC Sports Network.
The Gophers have a combined record of 72-41 in regular season tournaments, dating back to the Chicago District Olympic Tournament during the 1935-36 season. Minnesota is 11-4 under Tubby Smith during in-season tournament play, including a pair of victories over top-10 teams; a 72-67victory over #8 North Carolina in the second round of the 2010 Puerto Rico Tipoff and an 82-73 win over #10 Butler in the 2009 ESPN 76 Classic in Anaheim. The Gophers went on to win the Puerto Rico Tipoff title with a victory over West Virginia in the championship game.
Up next for Minnesota is the aforementioned trip to Tallahassee to face the Seminoles in the 14th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Gophers hold a 5-8 record in the Challenge, defeating Virginia Tech last season. FSU is the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference champions and won 25 games last season.
Minnesota’s non-conference schedule will also include a trip to Los Angeles to face the Trojans of USC (Dec. 8) and home games against North Dakota State (Dec. 11) and Lafayette (Dec. 22). The USC game is scheduled to be broadcast on the PAC-12 Network while the NDSU and Lafayette games are scheduled for the BTN.
The Maroon and Gold's season officially begins on Thurs., Nov. 1, in an exhibition matchup with the Mavericks from Minnesota State, Mankato. Minnesota's other exhibition game will be Mon., Nov. 5 against Southwest Baptist. Both contests will be held at Williams Arena and can be seen on BTN.com.
Minnesota returns all but one player from a team that finished the 2011-12 season 23-15 overall, including an appearance in the NIT Championship game at Madison Square Garden. The 23 wins during the 2011-12 campaign were the most at Minnesota since the 1989-90 team also won 23 (vacated years not included).
The Gophers have appeared in the postseason in four of the five seasons under head coach Tubby Smith. Smith will enter the 2012-13 season with 103 career wins on the Gopher sideline, joining just seven other coaches to win 100 games at the University of Minnesota. His current winning percentage of .602 (103-68) is the fourth-highest in program history. Smith is 490-213 overall in 21 seasons as a head coach.
Gopher Men's Basketball season tickets are on sale now for the 2012-13 season and are available by calling 612.624.8080 or 1.800.UGOPHER or online at www.gophersports.com or www.mygophersports.com.
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Watch episode two of Ski-U-Mah Weekly with guests Richard Pitino, Sarah Hopkins and Steve Plasencia.
Watch Ski-U-Mah Weekly Live at Noon
Gopher basketball head coach Richard Pitino will appear on Ski-U-Mah Weekly today at Noon on Facebook.
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Gopher Score members will have first access starting September 19, while the general public can order their packs on September 26.