The Bowling Green State University men's basketball team will play five games against teams that went to the NCAA Tournament a year ago and eight more against teams that played in the postseason, according to the 31-game schedule that was released today.
The Falcons will face NCAA Tournament teams Wisconsin and St. Louis on the road in the Cancun Challenge as well as hosting Western Kentucky Dec. 2. The Falcons will have a home-and-home set with Mid-American Conference rival Akron as well.
"We are very excited and motivated about the upcoming schedule," BGSU Men's Basketball Coach Louis Orr said. "Thirteen of our 31 games are against teams that played in the postseason, including five NCAA Tournament participants. Our non-conference schedule allows us the opportunity to play strong and competitive opponents, which will challenge us to compete hard every play of every game. It will make us better and prepare us for the grind of the MAC season."
The MAC has expanded to an 18-game conference schedule and the Falcons will face each MAC East Division opponent twice as well as Toledo and Eastern Michigan twice from the West Division. Bowling Green opens league play Jan. 8 against Eastern Michigan in the first of three consecutive home MAC games.
Bowling Green opens the season with a home exhibition game against Malone on Nov. 2 as part of a basketball doubleheader before the regular season opener against Earlham Nov. 9 in the Stroh Center. BGSU will then host BIG EAST foe South Florida Nov. 15 in a rematch of a triple overtime game between the two teams a year ago.
The Falcons follow that by playing in the Cancun Challenge, as previously announced, against Wisconsin and St. Louis on their home floors before heading to Cancun, Mexico to play Presbyterian and either Oral Roberts or Georgia Southern.
BGSU will return home to host Sun Belt champions Western Kentucky Dec. 2 and then will make the drive south to play Xavier. North Dakota, a CIT participant in 2012-13, will visit the Stroh Center Dec. 11 before the Falcons travel to Morehead State Dec. 15. Bowling Green then brings Detroit, which played in the NIT last year, to the Stroh Center Dec. 22 before closing 2013 with a game at CBI participant Wright State Dec. 29.
The Falcons have one more non-conference game as the calendar flips, hosting IPFW Jan. 2. From there, BGSU has six days to prepare for the league opener against Eastern Michigan. Among the featured conference games include a pair of contests against I-75 rival Toledo. The Falcons hit the road Feb. 5 and will host the Rockets Feb. 20. It marks the first time the two bitter rivals have played twice in the regular season since 2005-06, although the squads did meet two times in 2007-08, playing once in the MAC Tournament.
Bowling Green will also host the MAC's NCAA representative from a year ago, Akron, on Feb. 9. Kent State, a CIT participant in 2013, visits the Stroh Center Feb. 26, while Ohio, which competed in the NIT, will visit March 4 as the final regular season home game of the year. Bowling Green closes out the regular season at Buffalo either March 7 or 8. It is the third straight year that the two programs will meet to end the year.
"We embrace the competition and have been preparing for this since the end of last year," Orr said. "This is the only mindset we can have to successfully compete for a MAC Championship. Our conference play is always an endurance test, but our guys are up for the task."
Basketball Season Tickets are on sale now by calling the BGSU Ticket Office at 877-BGSU TICKET or online at BGSUFalcons.com.