Basketball schedules released
The Bearcats will play six home games in November and December and face three postseason teams from a year ago, highlighted by an away match up at reigning Big Ten champion and preseason top-10 Michigan. Five first-time opponents dot the schedule.
“I like that the schedule features several home games for our community and students as well as many opportunities to take our team into some hostile road environments against quality basketball teams,” Dempsey said. “We have many challenges ahead but we have had a great summer and both the players and coaches are very excited about the upcoming season. This schedule will have us well prepared for America East play.”
Binghamton opens with an exhibition game against Susquehanna on Nov. 3, at the Events Center. The game will be a reunion of sorts for Dempsey, who played for the Division III Crusaders and then served as assistant coach at his alma mater from 1997-99.
The regular season begins with a tough road test against defending MAAC champion Loyola on Nov. 9. The Greyhounds went 24-9 and advanced to the NCAA Championship, where they lost to Ohio State.
The team’s home opener is Nov. 11 against Ivy League member Brown – the beginning of a four-games-in-eight-days stretch for Dempsey’s squad. Back-to-back road games against U.S. Service Academies and Patriot League members follow with a first-ever visit to Annapolis and Navy on Nov. 14, and a trip to West Point to face Army two days later.
A home game against MAAC member St. Peter’s on Nov. 18 bookends the flurry of games. The Bearcats stay put for Thanksgiving and will host Marywood on Nov. 24. The Pacers are coached by local product and former Binghamton University assistant coach Eric Grundman.
Binghamton will close out the month of November with an away game at Ivy League-power Penn on Nov. 28. The Quakers went 20-13 last season, finished as Ivy runner up and reached the second round of the CBI, where their season ended with a 63-53 loss to Butler. The Bearcats will be making their first-ever appearance at the historic Palestra arena.
The team will open December with back-to-back home games in a three-day span when Northeast Conference members Mt. St. Mary’s (Dec. 1) and Monmouth (Dec. 3) pay a visit to the Events Center. Monmouth, which went 10-8 in league play last winter, is coached by Binghamton native and former North Carolina standout King Rice.
After a Dec. 8 game at NEC foe Bryant, Binghamton heads to Ann Arbor to face the Wolverines on Dec. 11. Michigan went 24-10 in 2011-12, and earned a share of the Big Ten regular season title for the first time in 26 years before winning the conference tournament and advancing to the NCAAs for the third time in the last four years. Ranked No. 10 in the AP Poll, the fourth-seeded Wolverines were then upset by Ohio 65-60 in their opening game. It will be the second time Binghamton has faced the “Maize and Blue” at Crisler Arena. Binghamton played at Michigan in the 2004 Preseason NIT and in an ESPN Network game, pushed the Wolverines to the closing minutes in a 59-46 loss. That Binghamton team led by as many as 12 points and was tied 41-41 before Michigan surged late.
Games against in-state rivals Colgate (Dec. 28) and Cornell (Dec. 30) finish out the non-conference slate before the New Year.
The 16-game America East schedule will be released early in the fall. The first two rounds of the conference championship will be held March 8-10 at Albany.
The Bearcats tip off their 12th NCAA Division I season on Saturday, Nov. 10, at St. Bonaventure starting at 1 p.m. It will mark the fourth time in five years that Binghamton opens up its season against the Bonnies.
Four days later, Binghamton plays its home opener against Cornell at 7 p.m. Other non-conference home games come against Siena (Nov. 24), Canisius (Nov. 27) and Niagara (Dec. 10).
Binghamton heads to Tennessee for games against Austin Peay on Nov. 18 and Belmont two days later. The Bearcats will also travel to Buffalo (Dec. 8) and Syracuse (Dec. 15).
For the first time since 2003, Binghamton will return to the Arizona State Tournament, which will be held Dec. 1-2. Up first for the Bearcats in that event is Dayton on Dec. 1. One day later, Binghamton will play either UNLV or the host Sun Devils.
In other tournament action, the Bearcats will travel to the Lehigh Tournament Dec. 29-30. After squaring off against the host Mountain Hawks in the first game, Binghamton battles Fairleigh Dickinson in the second match up.
“We are looking forward to this season’s non-conference schedule,” head coach Nicole Scholl said. “We face some pretty good programs that will help us prepare for conference play.”
The America East Conference will release its 16-game schedule at a later date. Albany will host the first three rounds of the America East Tournament March 8-10.