|The men's basketball team won the Atlantic 10 championship during the 2012-2013 season and later made an appearance in the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. File photo|
Saint Louis University announced the Billikens' 2013-14 men's basketball schedule.
Among the highlights of the 31-game slate are SLU's participation in the Cancun Challenge that includes a game against Wisconsin, a matchup against Final Four participant Wichita State at Chaifetz Arena and a road meeting at Vanderbilt. Additionally, Atlantic 10 Conference rivals Dayton and VCU pay visits to Chaifetz Arena.
In all, the Billikens play 14 games versus opponents that reached the postseason last year. SLU plays seven games against NCAA Tournament teams, three matchups against NIT opponents and four times against teams that advanced to the CBI or CollegeInsider.com tournaments.
"The community and the fans really fueled the atmosphere last year at Chaifetz Arena and helped us to a championship, and we hope for the same this year," SLU head coach Jim Crews said. "We are excited about our schedule. It is competitive with excellent programs, coaches and players. We are looking forward to the challenge."
Coinciding with the release of the schedule was the announcement of the televised games that are part of the A-10 package. SLU will have 14 games on the docket slated for television, including four on ESPN or ESPN2, six on CBS Sports Network and four on NBC Sports Network. The department of athletics is negotiating local TV deals with the goal of televising as many men's basketball games as possible. The complete TV schedule, which dictates tip times, will be released at a later date.
SLU, which is coming off a 28-win season that saw the Billikens capture A-10 regular-season and tournament titles and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row, opens the season Friday, Nov. 8, against Southeast Missouri State at Chaifetz Arena.
The complete schedule is available for download online.
Following the opener on Nov. 8, SLU hits the road but stays in the region, facing SIUE Wednesday, Nov. 13, at the Vadalabene Center and Southern Illinois Saturday, Nov. 16, at SIU Arena.
The Billikens host Oral Roberts (Thursday, Nov. 21) and Bowling Green (Saturday, Nov. 23) at Chaifetz Arena as part of the Cancun Challenge. Thanksgiving week, the Billikens travel to Cancun to face Wisconsin (Tuesday, Nov. 26) and either Old Dominion or West Virginia on Wednesday, Nov. 27.
Following its stint in Mexico, SLU has a quick turnaround as it welcomes Wichita State to Chaifetz Arena Sunday, Dec. 1. After a Tuesday, Dec. 3, meeting against fellow Jesuit institution Rockhurst, the Billikens travel to Valparaiso to face the Crusaders on Saturday, Dec. 7.
The Billikens play their next three games at home, welcoming Wofford (Saturday, Dec. 14), Indiana State (Wednesday, Dec. 18) and North Carolina A&T (Saturday, Dec. 21). Saint Louis travels to Vanderbilt Monday, Dec. 30, and then concludes the non-conference portion of its schedule Saturday, Jan. 4, when Yale comes to town.
The Billikens embark on a two-game road trip to open the A-10 slate against Rhode Island (Tuesday, Jan. 7) and Dayton (Saturday, Jan. 11). The conference home opener is set for Wednesday, Jan. 15, against St. Bonaventure.
SLU faces VCU, which it defeated in the A-10 Championship title game, Saturday, Feb. 15, at Chaifetz Arena. The squads will meet again Saturday, March 1, in Richmond, Va. New A-10 foe George Mason visits Chaifetz Arena Saturday, Feb. 1, while Dayton comes to town for Senior Night on Wednesday, March 5. The Billikens conclude the regular season Sunday, March 9, at UMass, in what will be the final game in the A-10 composite schedule.
Additional A-10 games at Chaifetz Arena are: Fordham (Saturday, Jan. 18), Richmond (Wednesday, Jan. 29), George Washington (Saturday, Feb. 22) and Duquesne (Thursday, Feb. 27).
The Billikens also travel to Duquesne (Wednesday, Jan. 22), Saint Joseph's (Wednesday, Feb. 5), La Salle (Saturday, Feb. 8) and George Mason (Wednesday, Feb. 19).
SLU will play one yet-to-be-announced exhibition game at Chaifetz Arena in late October.