Aug. 12, 2009
Northridge, Calif. - Don't ever accuse the Cal State Northridge men's basketball team of ever playing a cream puff schedule.
Head coach Bob Braswell always looks for an aggressive, competitive non-league schedule to prepare for the highly competitive Big West campaign, and this year's 2009-10 schedule is no different.
"This is one of the most challenging schedules we have had," said Braswell, who is entering his 14th season (205-181, .531) at the helm of the CSUN basketball program. "We're excited about the opportunity. With so many new faces on the Northridge team this year, this will be a challenge for us. But we've always believed that a tough non-league schedule will make us tougher and better when the league campaign starts. With games against the likes of Purdue, Washington, Colorado and the NIT Season Tip-Off, this is going to be one of the tougher schedules."
In a schedule officially released on Wednesday by Braswell, a meeting with nationally-ranked Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana, will kickoff the regular season on Nov. 13 (7:05 p.m., ct) in West Lafayette, Indiana. The powerful Boilermakers are Final Four contenders and have already been ranked in the pre-season as high as third by ESPN.
The schedule doesn't get any easier the following week. The Matadors travel to Tempe, Arizona on Nov. 16-17 to compete in the prestigious NIT Season Tip-Off. This is a 16-team bracketed tournament with Cal State Northridge competing in the West Region at Arizona State's Wells Fargo Arena. The Matadors will face seventh-seed Texas Christian University (TCU) on Nov. 16. The winner of the CSUN-TCU game will face the winner of the Arizona State-Texas State game on Nov. 17. The Sun Devils, a contender in the Pac-10, are seeded fourth in the NIT Season Tip-Off.
The winner of the West Region (Cal State Northridge, Arizona State, TCU, Texas State) will advance to the NIT Season Tip-Off Final Four on Nov. 25 & 27 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The remaining 12 teams will play third-and-fourth games on the home campus sites of the highest remaining seeds. Participating teams will not play any team twice, and the third-and-fourth rounds will be assigned to the most geographically compatible site possible.
The West Region representative will face the winner of the East Region (#1 Duke, #8 UNC-Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, Elon) in the semi-finals on Nov. 25. The East Region will be held on Nov. 16-17 at Duke.
The NIT Season Tip-Off South Region (to be played at LSU on Nov. 16-17) teams are #3 LSU, #5 Western Kentucky, Indiana State and Wisconsin-Milwaukee, The North Region (to be played at UConn on Nov. 16-17) teams are #2 UConn, #6 Hofstra, Colgate and Yale.
ESPN will provide coverage throughout the event, televising games on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPU. Games on ESPN and ESPN2 will be simulcast on ESPN360.com
Following the NIT Season Tip-Off, Cal State Northridge opens a 13-game home season against Cal State Bakersfield (Nov. 30, 7:05 p.m.). That game will be followed by a Dec. 3 clash with Idaho (7:05 p.m.) at The Matadome.
Then it's back on the road on Dec. 6 (7:00 p.m.) against the Washington Huskies of the Pac-10 Conference in Seattle. Washington has almost every back to form a team that will be the league favorite and ranked nationally in the pre-season.
Cal State Northridge will also make two non-league road trips to the state of Colorado. The Matadors will face Denver on Dec. 8 (tba), and Colorado in Boulder on Dec. 22 (tba).
The non-league home slate also includes a Dec. 18 game against Drexel (7:05 p.m.).
Cal State Northridge will also have three non-league games during the midst of the Big West Conference season. On Jan. 11 (8:00 p.m.), the Matadors hosts Seattle, then travels to Seattle on Jan. 19 (tba). An ESPN Bracketbuster game will return to The Matadome on Feb. 20. The time and opponent will determined later during the season prior to Feb. 20.
Cal State Northridge has won or shared the Big West title the last two years, and this year's conference schedule could be the most competitive in recent memory. The Matadors open the league campaign on the road on Jan. 2 (7:00 p.m.) at Pacific, and at UC Davis on Jan. 4 (7:00 p.m.).
The Matadors' first Big West Conference home game will be on Jan. 7 against UC Irvine (7:05 p.m.).
Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara are expected to be the conference co-favorites this year. The 49ers arrive at Cal State Northridge on Jan. 28 (7:05 p.m.) followed by the Gauchos on Jan. 30 (7:00 p.m.).
"The Big West Conference will be better than ever," said Braswell. "The league had some great, young teams last year, and now they are a year older. It's going to be one of those years where the league champion will not be decided until the final week of the season.
The Big West Tournament is slated for Mar. 10-13 at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Cal State Northridge, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2009, will return nine lettermen and three starters from a 2008-09 team that chalked up a 17-14 overall record, a first place finish (11-5) in the Big West Conference and a tournament title. The starters include forward Kenny Daniels (8.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg), forward/center Willie Galick (9.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and guard Mark Hill (8.2 ppg, 2.9 apg).
Cal State Northridge will have two exhibition home games prior to the start of the regular season in 2009-10 ... The Matadors will host Cal Lutheran on Nov. 4 (7:05 p.m.) followed by a Nov. 7 contest against the Masters College also at 7:05 p.m. ... CSUN's trip to Purdue (Nov. 13, 7:05 p.m., ct) will only be third time in the 51-year history of Matador history that the school has competed against a Big-10 team ... On Dec. 21, 1983, the Matadors dropped a 78-57 decision at Illinois ... On Dec. 15, 1997, Cal State Northridge traveled to Ohio State where the Matadors lost a 89-81 verdict ... CSUN's game against Washington (Dec. 6, 3:00 p.m.) is the eighth straight year that the Matadors have played a Pac-10 school ... Visit www.nit.org for more details on the NIT Season Tip-Off history, selection committee and procedures.
The 2009-10 Cal State Northridge Men's Basketball Schedule
4 (WEDNESDAY) - CAL LUTHERAN (EXHIBITION) 7:05 P.M.
7 (SATURDAY) - THE MASTERS COLLEGE (EXHIBITION) 7:05 P.M.
13 (Friday) - at Purdue 7:05 p.m. (ct)
16-27 - NIT Season Tip-Off (Tempe, Az)
16 (Monday) - vs TCU 8:30 p.m. (mt)
17 (Tuesday) - vs Arizona State vs Texas State tba
23 (Monday) - Consolation Game (site to be determined) tba
24 (Tuesday) - Consolation Game (site to be determined) tba
26 (Thursday) - Semifinals in New York City tba
27 (Friday) - Championship in New York City tba
30 (MONDAY) - CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD 7:05 P.M.
3 (THURSDAY) - IDAHO 7:05 P.M.
6 (Sunday) - at Washington (FSN NW) 7:00 p.m.
8 (Tuesday) - at Denver 7:00 p.m. (mt)
18 (FRIDAY) - DREXEL 7:05 P.M.
22 (Tuesday) - at Colorado (FSN RM) 5:30 p.m. (mt)
*2 (Saturday) - at Pacific 7:00 p.m.
*4 (Monday) - at UC Davis 7:00 p.m.
*7 (THURSDAY) - UC IRVINE 7:05 P.M.
11 (MONDAY) - SEATTLE 8:00 P.M.
*14 (THURSDAY) - UC RIVERSIDE 7:05 P.M.
*16 (Saturday) - at Cal State Fullerton 6:05 p.m.
19 (Tuesday) - at Seattle tba
*23 (Saturday) - at Cal Poly 7:00 p.m.
*28 (THURSDAY) - LONG BEACH STATE 7:05 P.M.
*30 (SATURDAY) - UC SANTA BARBARA 7:00 P.M.
*4 (Thursday) - at UC Riverside 7:00 p.m.
*6 (Saturday) - at Long Beach State (FSNW) 5:00 p.m.
10 (Wednesday) - at Cal State Bakersfield 7:00 p.m.
*13 (SATURDAY) - CAL STATE FULLERTON 7:05 P.M.
*17 (WEDNESDAY) - CAL POLY (FSNW) 7:30 P.M.
20 (SATURDAY) - ESPN BRACKETBUSTER 7:05 p.m.
*24 (Wednesday) - at UC Santa Barbara 7:00 p.m.
*27 (Saturday) - at UC Irvine (FSNPT) 7:00 p.m.
*4 (THURSDAY) - UC DAVIS 7:05 P.M.
*6 (SATURDAY) - PACIFIC 7:05 P.M.
10-13 (Wednesday-Saturday) - at Big West Tournament (Anaheim, Ca) tba
*Big West Conference Game
All times are local