Aug. 29, 2012
STANFORD, Calif.- Stanford's Anne and Tony Joseph Director of Men's Basketball Johnny Dawkins has announced the 2012-13 men's basketball schedule, which features 15 opponents who qualified for the postseason last year, an appearance in the loaded Battle 4 Atlantis and an unprecedented amount of television coverage.
Arguably the most challenging schedule in recent memory, Stanford will have an opportunity to quickly establish a high RPI thanks to a rigorous non-conference slate.
With the launch of the Pac-12 Networks, every Pac-12 home contest will be televised this season. The 2012-13 Pac-12 men's basketball television package features 221 contests telecast to national and regional audiences, including 150 games aired on the Pac-12 Networks, 47 on ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU, 22 on FSN and two nationally on CBS.
The Pac-12 schedule once again comprises an 18-game format, 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). In 2012-13, Stanford will host the Washington schools and face the Arizona schools on the road.
Stanford opens its season against San Francisco on Friday, Nov. 9, with the game to be played at Oracle Arena in Oakland. The neutral site contest represents the first meeting between the Bay Area programs since Nov. 23, 2005, when the Cardinal defeated the Dons 71-56 at Maples Pavilion. San Francisco (20-14, 8-8 WCC) is coming off its first 20-win campaign since a 25-6 finish in 1981-82 while qualifying for the CBI.
The Cardinal's home opener is set for Nov. 12, with Cal State Fullerton visiting Maples Pavilion in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. Three days later, Stanford hosts Alcorn State in the second contest of a seven-day stretch.
Highlighting the 16-game home schedule is a Nov. 18 tilt against Belmont, which returns 11 players from an NCAA Tournament squad that finished 27-8 overall and continued its dominance of the Atlantic Sun Conference with its fourth title over the last five years. One of the country's most recognizable mid-major programs, Belmont will be making the move to the Ohio Valley Conference this year.
Next up is an appearance in the Battle 4 Atlantis, widely billed as the nation's best preseason tournament and taking place during Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 22-24) at the famed Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas. The stacked eight-team field includes six squads that have participated in the NCAA Final Four over the last 15 seasons. This year's participants have combined for more than 160 NCAA postseason appearances.
The first round opponent for Stanford will be Missouri, which compiled a 30-5 overall record in a historic season last year while earning a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament after capturing the Big 12 Tournament championship. The winner will square off against either Louisville, tabbed by some national media outlets as a preseason No. 1, or Northern Iowa, which has won 93 games over the past four seasons. In the third game of the tournament, Stanford faces either Duke, Memphis, Minnesota or VCU.
A Nov. 28 contest against Seattle represents the first of three home games for Stanford, which next battles Denver, a 22-win program from 2011-12 making the transition from the Sun Belt Conference to the WAC.
After its traditional extended break for dead week and finals, Stanford is back in action on Dec. 15 against UC Davis.
A grueling road swing follows, with the Cardinal traveling to NC State (Dec. 18) and Northwestern (Dec. 21). Projected to be ranked among the nation's top-10 and a legitimate threat to overtake Duke and North Carolina in the ACC race, NC State returns four starters from a squad that finished 24-13 last year and reached the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. Another program with four starters coming back, Northwestern is coming off its fourth consecutive appearance in the NIT and in the midst of its winningest four-year stretch in school history.
Stanford's non-conference slate concludes on Dec. 29 against Lafayette in the first meeting between the schools in 40 years.
Conference play gets underway the first week of January, with Stanford visiting USC on Jan. 3 in the Pac-12 lid-lifter for both clubs. The SoCal road swing wraps up two days later against UCLA, tabbed as an early Pac-12 favorite.
Stanford's first conference homestand is set for the following week when Washington State (Jan. 9) and Washington (Jan. 12) arrive at Maples Pavilion. It's a Wednesday-Saturday format, one of several unique scheduling alignments during conference play because of the enhanced television agreement.
The first of two matchups against rival California takes place on Jan. 19, when the Golden Bears visit Maples Pavilion. One of two Pac-12 teams to reach last year's NCAA Tournament, California will host the rematch in the season finale on Mar. 6.
A road trip to Colorado (Jan. 24) and Utah (Jan. 27) is up next. The Buffaloes excelled in their debut season as a conference member, finishing 24-12 while claiming the Pac-12 Tournament title and advancing to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. That being said, Stanford experienced little trouble against Colorado, sweeping the season series with victory margins of at least 20 points in both meetings.
The second Pac-12 homestand features visits from Oregon, which finished 24-10 overall and reached the NIT quarterfinals, and Oregon State, whose first 20-win campaign since 1990 ended in the semifinals of the CBI.
After a one-year hiatus from its annual trip to the desert, Stanford embarks on a road trip to face Arizona (Feb. 6) and Arizona State (Feb. 9). Joining UCLA as one of the preseason Pac-12 title favorites, Arizona is coming off a 23-12 season that included an appearance in the NIT.
A Valentine's Day matchup against USC opens another Pac-12 homestand before what figures to be the most highly-anticipated conference home game against UCLA two days later.
Following a road trip to the Oregon schools, Stanford hosts Colorado (Feb. 27) and Utah (Mar. 3) to close out the home portion of its schedule.
This year's Pac-12 Tournament is slated for March 13-16 and will be held at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. That's a shift in venue after the Staples Center in Los Angeles served as the event's host site for 11 seasons.
Stanford (26-11, 10-8 Pac-12) captured its third championship in school history, closing out the year as 2012 Postseason NIT champions. Winning a school-record seven games during the month of March, Stanford has now claimed three titles overall (1942 NCAA, 1991 Postseason NIT). Appearing in the postseason for the first time in three years, the Cardinal chalked up its best win total since a 28-8 campaign in 2007-08. Despite placing seventh in regular-season conference play, Stanford wrapped up the year as the Pac-12's winningest program and tallied a league-best four victories against the RPI's top-50.