GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The University of North Dakota men’s basketball team has a senior-laden squad ready to take the court this season and seventh-year head coach Brian Jones announced the 30-game regular season schedule that group will be facing during the 2013-14 campaign on Wednesday.
Following three consecutive trips to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, UND will face nine different teams that advanced to postseason play a year ago, including six that participated in the NCAA Tournament.
Seven of those opponents are in the opening 10-game stretch of non-conference foes UND will play before embarking on its second season of Big Sky action.
“The year’s schedule is by far the toughest we have had since our move to Division I,” Jones said. “This non-league schedule will definitely prepare us for a very difficult Big Sky Conference slate, but we are very excited to reward and test our veteran team with this challenging schedule.”
After the season-opener at home vs. Minnesota Morris, UND will travel to Big 10 power Wisconsin on Nov. 19. It will be the second visit to Madison in the last four seasons to face the Badgers, who have made 15 consecutive NCAA Tournament trips.
The trip to Wisconsin will be the precursor to what is always one of the most highly-anticipated contests on UND’s schedule – the North Dakota State game. The Bison are coming off a postseason berth in the College Basketball Invitational and this year’s contest will take place on Sunday, Nov. 24 at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center for the first time.
“My hope is that it will be a great college basketball environment, similar to the days when UND fans packed the Hyslop,” Jones said. “I hope it’s loud with our student section serving as a sixth man with their passion for the Green and White.”
Following the clash with the Bison, a three-game tournament over Thanksgiving Weekend is on the agenda with UND set to take on Cal Poly, Pacific and host Oregon in Eugene Nov. 29-Dec. 1. The exact schedule for the tournament has not been determined.
All three of those teams made postseason play a year ago and the Ducks advanced the furthest of the six NCAA Tournament foes on the docket, falling to eventual national champion Louisville in the Sweet 16. Pacific lost to Miami (Fla.) in the opening round of the Big Dance, while Cal Poly dropped its opening round CIT game to fellow Big Sky foe Weber State.
UND will remain on the road for a pair of non-conference games in early December. Butler, a Final Four participant in 2010 and 2011, will play host to the Green and White on Dec. 7 in historic Hinkle Fieldhouse. This will be the first season for the Bulldogs in their transition to the Big East Conference.
Next up is a return game at Bowling Green on Dec. 11, which will close out the road portion of the non-conference schedule. UND will then have a brief two-game homestand prior to the Christmas break with Presentation College visiting The Betty on Dec. 15 before old NCC rival South Dakota State comes to town on Dec. 21.
After Christmas, it is all about Big Sky matchups as the league’s 20-game schedule commences for UND on the road at Northern Colorado on Dec. 29. The team will return home for a rare Big Sky doubleheader with the women’s team on Thursday, Jan. 2 against Southern Utah. The tilt with the Thunderbirds is the first of three straight conference home games for UND with contests against Idaho State (Jan. 9) and Weber State (Jan. 11) to follow.
Six of the next eight Big Sky games will be road tests for UND as the first opponent during that stretch is reigning regular season and tournament champion Montana on Jan. 16. The Grizzlies return to Grand Forks for a game on Feb. 15.
A Feb. 13 contest vs. Montana State will start a home stretch where UND will play five of its final eight Big Sky games in Grand Forks. The Green and White will conclude the regular season with a March 6 contest at Southern Utah, giving them a week to prepare for the Big Sky Tournament. That event will start March 13 with the top seven teams advancing to play on the home court of the regular-season champion and No. 1 seed.
Single-game tickets for UND men’s and women’s basketball will go on sale to the general public on Friday, Nov. 1 at 10 a.m. Champions Club members can participate in a pre-sale for single-game tickets on Thursday, Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Season ticket packages also remain available for men’s and women’s basketball. With high demand expected for the NDSU game on Nov. 24, the best way for fans to secure a ticket for that contest is through purchasing season tickets. Those packages start at $90.
Prices for all single-game tickets besides the NDSU game range from $7 to $12 for adults and $5 for youth tickets. NDSU single-game tickets prices have not been set. Tickets can be purchased at the UND Box Office at Ralph Engelstad Arena, or via Ticketmaster.com.
Fans wishing to purchase group tickets (10 or more) can do so by contacting UND’s Director of Ticket Sales, Dexter Albrecht, at 701.777.4582.
UND students receive free tickets subject to availability by presenting a valid UND student ID.
— Go UND —