Kansas Men's Basketball Releases Competitive Non-Conference Schedule for 2009-10

June 2, 2009

LAWRENCE, Kan. – A rematch of the 2008 NCAA National Championship Game and a trip to historic Pauley Pavilion are two of the highlights of a competitive non-conference schedule for Kansas men’s basketball in 2009-10.

The Jayhawks will play 14 games in 2009-10 against 2009 NCAA Tournament teams. Ranked No. 1 in several preseason polls, Kansas returns five starters and its top nine scorers from last season’s 27-8 team that won the Big 12 regular-season championship, KU’s fifth straight, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.

“This year’s strength of schedule should certainly measure up with the best we’ve had since I came to Kansas,” head coach Bill Self said. “Playing 13 teams that made the NCAA Tournament last year will be a stiff challenge for what many consider a young ball club. I’m excited about the possibilities as we will be tested home, away and at the two neutral games.”

In Kansas’ first game away from home, the Jayhawks will face Memphis Nov. 17 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo., in the Hall-of-Fame Classic. It is the first meeting between the two teams since KU defeated the Tigers 75-68 in overtime to win the 2008 NCAA Championship at the Alamodome in San Antonio. KU is 4-2 all-time against Memphis. Last year, the Tigers advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16.

Kansas will meet UCLA in the Big 12/Pac 10 Hardwood Series Dec. 6 at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. It will be the 15th meeting between the two historic programs, with the Bruins holding the 10-4 edge. UCLA won the last matchup, 68-55, in the 2007 NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. UCLA’s 2008-09 season ended in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where it fell to Villanova 89-69.

Six other Kansas non-conference opponents (Tennessee, Michigan, California, Temple, Cornell and Radford) made appearances in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. Another opponent (Belmont) played in the College Insider Tournament (CIT). Including Big 12 foes Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas A&M, Kansas will face 13 teams in 2009-10 that advanced to the 2009 NCAA Tournament.

The Jayhawks’ matchup with Radford Dec. 9 at Allen Fieldhouse will be the first meeting between the two teams. Radford won both the regular-season and conference tournament titles in the Big South in 2008-09 to advance to the NCAA Tournament. The Highlanders fell to eventual national champion North Carolina in the first round.

Kansas will look to defeat Michigan for the first time in school history when the Wolverines visit Allen Fieldhouse Dec. 19. The Jayhawks are 0-5 against Michigan, falling 86-74 the last time the two teams met in 1992-93. Michigan reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season before being defeated by Oklahoma 73-63.

KU holds a 14-3 edge against California, defeating the Golden Bears 69-56 last time (2005-06). The Jayhawks will host Cal Dec. 22 in Lawrence. The Golden Bears were knocked out of the 2009 NCAA Tournament in the first round by Maryland 84-71.

After hosting Temple this past season, Kansas will make the return trip to Philadelphia, Pa., Jan. 2 to take on the Owls. The Jayhawks defeated Temple, 71-59, in front of the usual packed house at Allen Fieldhouse on Dec. 20. Kansas is 6-3 all-time against the Owls. Temple went on to make the NCAA Tournament last year, where it lost to Arizona State, 66-57, in the first round.

Kansas will take on Cornell in the third meeting between the two schools Jan. 5 in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks won the previous two matchups, last defeating the Big Red 100-46 during the 1995-96 season. Cornell won the 2008-09 Ivy League Championship to make it to the NCAA Tournament, where Missouri defeated the Big Red in the first round 78-59.

Another familiar foe on the schedule is Tennessee. Kansas travels to Knoxville, Tenn., Jan. 9. The Volunteers came to Lawrence on Jan. 3 this past season, where they fell victim to the Jayhawks 92-85. It was the first-ever meeting between the schools. Tennessee lost a heartbreaker to Oklahoma State in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament, 77-75.

KU will meet Belmont for the first time Dec. 29 at Allen Fieldhouse. The Bruins finished third in the Atlantic Sun Conference in 2008-09 and lost in the second round of the CIT to Old Dominion, 70-62.

Rounding out the non-conference schedule for Kansas will be Hofstra (Nov. 13), Alcorn State (Dec. 2) and LaSalle (Dec. 12 at the Sprint Center). Three games of the Hall-of-Fame Classic are TBA and will be played in Allen Fieldhouse November 19, 23 and 27.

The Jayhawks will play two exhibitions, Nov. 3 vs. Fort Hays State and Nov. 10 vs. Pittsburg State. KU’s regular season will begin Nov. 13 at home against Hofstra.

The Big 12 Conference will release the league schedule some time this summer.

Kansas Men’s Basketball 2009-10 Non-Conference Schedule (home games in CAPS)

Date (Day) – Opponent, Site

Nov. 3 (Tuesday) – FORT HAYS STATE (Exhibition), Lawrence, Kan.

Nov. 10 (Tuesday) – PITTSBURG STATE (Exhibition), Lawrence, Kan.

Nov. 13 (Friday) – HOFSTRA, Lawrence, Kan.

Nov. 17 (Tuesday) – Memphis, St. Louis, Mo.

Nov. 19 (Thursday) – TBA, Lawrence, Kan.

Nov. 23 (Monday) – TBA, Lawrence, Kan.

Nov. 27 (Friday) – TBA, Lawrence, Kan.

Dec. 2 (Wednesday) – ALCORN STATE, Lawrence, Kan.

Dec. 6 (Sunday) – UCLA, Los Angeles, Calif.

Dec. 9 (Wednesday) – RADFORD, Lawrence, Kan.

Dec. 12 (Saturday) – LA SALLE (Sprint Center), Kansas City, Mo.

Dec. 19 (Saturday) – MICHIGAN, Lawrence, Kan.

Dec. 22 (Tuesday) – CALIFORNIA, Lawrence, Kan.

Dec. 29 (Tuesday) – BELMONT, Lawrence, Kan.

Jan. 2 (Saturday) – Temple, Philadelphia, Pa.

Jan. 5 (Tuesday) – CORNELL, Lawrence, Kan.

Jan. 9 (Saturday) – Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn.

Big 12 regular-season home opponents – Baylor, Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas Tech

Big 12 regular-season road opponents – Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M

Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship – March 10-13, Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo.