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West Long Branch, NJ --
Monmouth University head men’s basketball coach King Rice and staff announced its 2012-13 schedule on Tuesday afternoon. The schedule includes three teams from the Big East and institutions from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), the Atlantic 10 (A-10), Patriot League and America East, and features seven squads that qualified for NCAA postseason games in 2012.
Monmouth, which is slated for at least four games in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, will face teams from at least 10 different leagues, three NCAA Tournament qualifiers, a trio of CollegeInsider.com Tournament sides and a team that advanced to the CBI Tournament.
“I am very excited about this year’s schedule,” stated Rice. “Once again it is going to be very challenging, but I think our team really improved because of the schedule we played last year. I am looking for the same thing in our schedule this year. When you have the opportunity to play Villanova at home, that is always excellent for our fans, community and the Monmouth team in general. When you have the opportunity to play a high major program like Syracuse, Maryland or Notre Dame, those are things I think Monmouth should jump at every single time. Our team has improved a lot and I am very excited for our kids to face this challenging schedule.”
When asked about his philosophy of scheduling as a head coach, Rice commented, “My philosophy on scheduling in general is to play the best teams that you possibly can play. I think the way that we can build this program up is by playing top-tier teams so we can continue to bring in the right type of student-athletes to be able to compete against these programs. I like to play big-time college basketball schools, the named ones. I think it’s the right way to go, and I also think it’s the best thing for our student-athletes to continually get better.”
After hosting Le Moyne College in an exhibition on November 1, Monmouth kicks off its regular season slate on November 9, when the Hawks welcome CAA member Hofstra University to the MAC. Following its first home season opener under Coach Rice, the Hawks hit the road for five straight, including a Coaches vs. Cancer Classic opening round game at 2012 NCAA Tournament qualifier, Notre Dame on November 12. The 2012 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic Host Games (first round) will be played at the campus sites of BYU, Florida State, Notre Dame and Saint Joseph’s.
Following its fourth overall meeting with the Fighting Irish, Monmouth will travel to in-state rival Rider University on November 17.
The Hawks return to CvC competition in Sub-Host rounds (Nov. 16-21) in Atlanta, when the Blue and White face Georgia State (Nov. 19), South Alabama (Nov. 20) and Tennessee State (Nov. 21). The winners of the preliminary rounds advance to the semifinals and championship game, which take place in the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Following the CvC Classic, Monmouth will host Patriot League member Lafayette on November 26, before heading to Coach Rice’s hometown of Binghamton, New York to take on Binghamton University of the America East on December 3. The Hawks remain in non-league action with a home game against the Patriot League’s Navy on December 5, before embarking on consecutive road games at perennial powers Syracuse (Dec. 8), which advanced to the NCAA Elite 8 in 2012, and Maryland (Dec. 12) of the ACC.
Monmouth boasts another home marquee matchup with Big East power Villanova in the MAC on December 22, before wrapping up its non-conference slate at A-10 foe Fordham (Dec. 31) to close out the calendar year.
Monmouth opens its Northeast Conference ledger at Wagner (Jan. 3) and Mount St. Mary’s (Jan. 5), as 2012 marks the fifth straight year of opening the league slate on the road for the Hawks.
The Hawks host Saint Francis (Jan. 10) and Robert Morris (Jan. 12), a Collegeinsider.com Tournament third-round side, in the Multipurpose Activity Center, before they make their NEC Brooklyn trip on January 17 and 19, when the Hawks travel to St. Francis (N.Y.) and two-time defending league champion and NCAA Tournament qualifier, LIU Brooklyn, respectively, before hosting Garden State rival Fairleigh Dickinson (Jan. 24) in the MAC.
After traveling to Sacred Heart (Jan. 26), the Blue and White welcome Central Connecticut State (Jan. 31) and Bryant (Feb. 2) to the MAC.
MU is slated to battle CBI Tournament participant Quinnipiac on the road on February 7, before traveling to Fairleigh Dickinson (Feb. 9).
The Hawks, which play four of their last six NEC contests in the friendly confines of the MAC, entertain LIU Brooklyn (Feb. 14) and St. Francis (N.Y.) (Feb. 16), before Monmouth rounds out the regular season with road contests at Robert Morris (Feb. 21) and Saint Francis (Pa.) (Feb. 23), and closing the slate with games at home versus Mount St. Mary’s (Feb. 28) and Wagner (Mar. 2).
The 2013 Northeast Conference Tournament will once again be played at the home sites of the higher seeds. The quarterfinals are scheduled for Wednesday, March 6, with the semifinals and championship following on Saturday, March 9 and Tuesday, March 12, respectively.
All dates and times are subject to change due to future television scheduling. Check back to www.GoMUHawks.com for updates.