Aug. 3, 2011
STANFORD, Calif.- Stanford's Anne and Tony Joseph Director of Men's Basketball Johnny Dawkins has announced the 2011-12 men's basketball schedule, which features 12 opponents who qualified for the postseason last year, a home game against Butler and an appearance in the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off.
Highlighting the initial 17-game home schedule is a Dec. 22 matchup against Butler, which wrapped up last year as the national runner-up for the second straight season. The first team in NCAA history to reach back-to-back Final Fours as a No. 3 seed or lower, Butler had its 14-game winning streak snapped against Connecticut in the national title game.
Of course, the conference slate will also have a different look with Colorado and Utah leaving the Big 12 and Mountain West, respectively, to join the Pac-12. The new Pac-12 will offer an 18-game schedule, featuring a home and road game against each institution's traditional rival, six other opponents both home and away (for two consecutive years) and four opponents on a single-game basis with two games at home and two on the road (rotating every two years).
The Cardinal will open its season at home with a matchup on Nov. 11 against Central Arkansas. The Bears are led by head coach Corliss Williamson, a former NBA standout and NCAA All-American at Arkansas.
Next up is an appearance in the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off, with Stanford making its fourth appearance in the event and first since a runner-up finish to North Carolina back in 2002. Tabbed as the tournament's No. 3 seed, Stanford will host first and second round games of the West Regional at Maples Pavilion on Nov. 14-16. Stanford will host Fresno State on either Nov. 14 or 15 in its first round contest while the other West Regional matchup pits Colorado State, a 19-game winner and NIT participant in 2010, against SMU, which reached the semifinals of last year's CIT (CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament).
The winners of the four regionals at campus sites advance to Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y., for the semifinals and finals, slated for Nov. 23 and 25. The remaining 12 teams will play consolation-round games at campus sites to be determined the following week. ESPN will provide coverage throughout the event, televising games on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com.
Stanford's first road game of the year will be played at UC Davis (Nov. 18), while the month of November wraps up with a Nov. 28 date against Pacific, as the Cardinal and Tigers meet on the hardwood for the first time since 1998.
After returning a road game to Seattle University on Dec. 1, Stanford returns to Maples Pavilion and hosts NC State on Dec. 4 in the first of six straight home games. Stanford's first-ever meeting with NC State, coupled with last year's rout of Virginia, represents the first time in school history that the Cardinal will host ACC opponents in back-to-back seasons.
After its traditional extended break for dead week and finals, Stanford is back in action on Dec. 17 as San Diego visits The Farm. Two days later, Stanford hosts Bethune-Cookman, which won last year's MEAC regular season title and qualified for the NIT.
In what figures to be one of Stanford's most highly-anticipated home games in recent memory, Butler makes its first-ever visit to Maples Pavilion. Led by head coach Brad Stevens, Butler has appeared in five straight NCAA Tournaments and the program's 146 wins since 2006 ranks fourth in Division I behind only Kansas, North Carolina and Duke.
Stanford hosts UCLA on Dec. 29 in the Pac-12 lid-lifter for both clubs. The six-game homestand concludes with a New Year's Eve tilt against USC.
The Cardinal's first two-game conference road swing is set for the following week against defending CBI (College Basketball Invitational) champion Oregon and Oregon State during the weekend of Jan. 5-7.
League newcomers Utah and Colorado pay visits to Maples Pavilion on Jan. 12 and 14, respectively. The Utes finished 13-18 overall last year and placed seventh in the Mountain West at 6-10. The Buffaloes notched a school-record 24 victories, went 8-8 in the Big 12 and reached the semifinals of the NIT.
Three road games close out the month of January, with contests at Washington State (Jan. 19) and Washington (Jan. 21) followed by the first of two matchups against rival California (Jan. 29). The rematch in the rivalry series doesn't come around until Mar. 4, when the Cardinal hosts the Golden Bears in the regular season finale for both teams. Meanwhile, Washington State is coming off a surprise run to the NIT semifinals while Washington claimed last year's Pac-10 Tournament title and finished 1-1 in the NCAA Tournament.
After a Feb. 2 contest against Arizona State, Stanford hosts Arizona on Feb. 4 in the only meeting of the year between the Cardinal and Wildcats. Last year's Pac-10 regular season champion, Arizona fell one step shy of making the Final Four, with a 65-63 loss to eventual NCAA champion Connecticut ending a season in which the Wildcats tallied 30 wins.
The second round of games against the Southern California schools is next on the slate, with matchups at UCLA (Feb. 9) and USC (Feb. 12).
After hosting the Oregon schools, Stanford embarks on its first Pac-12 road trip through Colorado (Feb. 23) and Utah (Feb. 25). The Cardinal came away with a 67-43 non-conference victory four years ago in Boulder, but will be squaring off against the Utes in Salt Lake City for the first time since a 91-82 loss back on Jan. 19, 1974.
The Pac-12 Tournament is slated for March 7-10 in Los Angeles at the Staples Center.
Stanford wrapped up the 2010-11 season at 15-16 overall and tied for seventh in the Pac-10 at 7-11. Fielding a team without a senior for the first time in school history, Dawkins put his rookies in a position to excel, with Anthony Brown and Dwight Powell earning Pac-10 All-Freshman Team honors. In addition to making more starts (47) than any other Pac-10 team, Stanford's freshmen logged the highest percentage of minutes played (41.7) and accounted for the highest percentage of scoring (40.3). Additionally, Stanford was represented with four all-league picks overall, the most since four members of the Cardinal's 2008 Sweet 16 squad were recognized.