Cougars Appearing in Paradise Jam and ESPN's All-College Classic
PROVO -- A potential 17 games against teams who qualified for postseason play last year and spots in the University of The Virgin Islands Paradise Jam (U.S. Virgin Islands) and Touchstone Energy All-College Classic (Oklahoma City) highlight BYU's 2002-03 men's basketball schedule.
"This year's preseason and conference schedule will be the toughest and most challenging we've encountered since my arrival at BYU," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "All of our games in the preseason will be against veteran teams, many with post-season experience, and eight of those games will be on the road."
BYU's nonconference schedule includes teams from 12 different conferences, including the Pac-10, Big Ten, Big 12 and Big East. Overall, 12 teams on the schedule earned postseason bids last season, seven advancing to the NCAA tournament and five playing in the NIT. Six teams earned a conference regular season or league tournament title and 12 placed in the top three in their league standings.
The Cougars will be featured five times as part of the Mountain West Conference television package with ESPN, including an ESPN2 game vs. Oklahoma State in the Touchstone Energy All-College Classic in Oklahoma City on Jan. 4 and an ESPN "Big Monday" contest at Utah on Feb. 24. BYU appears three times on ESPN+Plus, hosting Utah on Jan. 25 and New Mexico on Feb. 1 before facing reigning MWC champion Wyoming in Laramie on Feb. 8.
After the annual Varsity Preview (Nov. 1) and exhibition contests with EA Sports (Nov. 5) and Worldwide (Nov. 13), BYU starts its regular season at the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The Cougars join Michigan, Kansas State, Virginia Tech, St. Bonaventure and Toledo for a three-game tournament played Nov. 22-25. BYU opens on Nov. 22 vs. Toledo before facing Kansas State on Nov. 23. The Cougars then face Michigan, Virginia Tech or St. Bonaventure in the final round on Nov. 25.
BYU opens its home schedule Nov. 30 against former Western Athletic Conference opponent Rice before returning to the road for games at Arizona State of the Pac-10 on Dec. 4 and at Creighton of the Missouri Valley Conference on Dec. 7. The Sun Devils earned an NIT berth last year, while the MVC champion Bluejays advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
With the exception of a single-game road trip to play San Francisco on Dec. 23, the Cougars stay at home the remainder of December to host the University of San Diego (Dec. 11), Utah State (Dec. 14), UC Santa Barbara (Dec. 21) and Southern Utah (Dec. 28). In-state rival Utah State and UCSB are both coming off postseason appearances as the Aggies won the Big West Conference regular season and an NIT bid, while the Gauchos claimed the Big West tournament title on their way to the 2002 NCAA tournament.
The Cougars begin 2003 with two tough contests, hosting the West Coast Conference co-champion Pepperdine Waves on Jan. 2 before meeting Oklahoma State in the first game of ESPN's Touchstone Energy All-College Classic. Michigan State and Oklahoma square off in the second game of the made-for-television event. Pepperdine finished 22-9 in coach Paul Westphal's first year at the helm last season, including an overtime win over BYU, while Oklahoma State earned a 23-9 mark and an NCAA invitation after finishing third in the Big 12.
BYU's final two games prior to starting MWC play are against in-state foe Weber State in Ogden on Jan. 8 and versus Idaho State at the Marriott Center on Jan. 11. Both teams are members of the Big Sky Conference.
"The preseason schedule should be a great help in preparing for a very competitive conference season," Cleveland said. "This is definitely the strongest and most competitive the Mountain West has been since its formation. Every team in the conference returns at least three starters."
BYU opens MWC action at home vs. UNLV on Jan. 16 before a single-game trip to San Diego to face the Aztecs on Jan. 20. After featured ESPN+Plus games against Utah (Jan. 25) and New Mexico (Feb. 1) in the Marriott Center, BYU hosts Air Force in an 8:30 p.m. Monday night tip prior to beginning a month-long, seven-game stretch that sandwiches one home game between six road contests. The Cougars play at Wyoming (Feb. 8 on ESPN+Plus), at Colorado State (Feb. 10), at UNLV (Feb. 14), vs. San Diego State (Feb. 17), at Utah (Feb. 24 on ESPN Big Monday), at Air Force (March 1) and at New Mexico (March 3).
After ending the MWC regular season on the road the past two years, BYU will finish league play at home in 2002-03, hosting Wyoming (March 6) and Colorado State (March 8) in the Marriott Center. The 2003 MWC Tournament takes place March 12-15 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
In all, the schedule includes a total of 29 regular season games and two exhibitions. The Cougars will play 14 regular season games in the Marriott Center, where BYU owns the nation's longest active home-court victory streak at 36 games. Excluding the MWC Tournament, BYU plays 15 road games, including 11 away contests and four neutral site games.
In addition to the Pac-10, Big Ten, Big 12, and Big East, conferences represented on BYU's non-league schedule include the Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Big West, Mid-American, Mid-Continent, Missouri Valley, West Coast and Western Athletic. Nine teams -- Arizona State, Creighton, San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Utah State, Southern Utah, Weber State and Pepperdine -- were also on last year's nonconference schedule. BYU earned a 6-3 record in those games, losing at UCSB and dropping overtime games at both Utah State and Pepperdine.
Additional television games and game times will be announced at a later date once they have been determined.
BYU Men?s Basketball
Date Opponent Location Time
Nov. 1 Varsity Preview Provo 7 p.m.
Nov. 5 EA Sports Provo 7 p.m.
Nov. 13 Worldwide Provo 7 p.m.
Nov. 22-25 Univ. of V.I. Paradise Jam St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
Nov. 22 vs. Toledo 8:30 p.m.
Nov. 23 vs. Kansas State 6:15 p.m.
Nov. 25 vs. Michigan, Virginia Tech or St. Bonaventure TBA
Nov. 30 Rice Provo 7 p.m.
Dec. 4 at Arizona State Tempe, Ariz. 7 p.m.
Dec. 7 at Creighton Omaha, Neb. 2 p.m.
Dec. 11 Univ. of San Diego Provo 7 p.m.
Dec. 14 Utah State Provo 7 p.m.
Dec. 21 UC Santa Barbara Provo 5 p.m.
Dec. 23 at San Francisco San Francisco 7 p.m.
Dec. 28 Southern Utah Provo 7 p.m.
Jan. 2 Pepperdine Provo 7 p.m.
Jan. 4 Touchstone Energy All-College Classic in Oklahoma City
vs. Oklahoma State 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 8 at Weber State Ogden, Utah 7 p.m.
Jan. 11 Idaho State Provo 7 p.m.
Jan. 16 *UNLV Provo 7 p.m.
Jan. 20 *at San Diego State San Diego 7 p.m.
Jan. 25 *Utah Provo 1 p.m.
Feb. 1 *New Mexico Provo 1 p.m.
Feb. 3 *Air Force Provo 8:30 p.m.
Feb. 8 *at Wyoming Laramie 1 p.m.
Feb. 10 *at Colorado State Fort Collins, Colo. 7 p.m.
Feb. 14 *at UNLV Las Vegas 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 17 *San Diego State Provo 8:30 p.m.
Feb. 24 *at Utah Salt Lake City 10 p.m.
Mar. 1 *at Air Force Colorado Springs 4 p.m.
Mar. 3 *at New Mexico Albuquerque, N.M. 7 p.m.
Mar. 6 *Wyoming Provo 7 p.m.
Mar. 8 *Colorado State Provo 7 p.m.
Mar. 12-15 at Mountain West Tournament Las Vegas
*denotes MWC game
Game times are local to site