|Men's Basketball Releases 2012-13 Non-Conference Schedule|
A trip to the tropics and matchups with high-profile opponents highlight the 2012-13 George Mason men's basketball team's non-conference schedule, announced today by head coach Paul Hewitt. The Patriots will host four of their out-of-conference games in Fairfax, while they will travel to opponents' arenas three times and play five neutral-site contests, all coming before New Year's Day.
"My staff and I are very happy with the competiveness of the schedule we've put together for the upcoming season," said Hewitt, beginning his second year at the helm of the program. "Our players are also excited about the quality of the schedule. In college basketball today, it is very important that you give yourself a chance to be considered for an at-large bid with a strong RPI, and we feel this schedule will give us a chance at the end of the year to do just that."
Fans will get their first look at the Patriots on Thursday, October 25 in an exhibition game against Bowie State at the Patriot Center, with the season kicking off on Friday, November 9 at home when Mason hosts in-state rival Virginia. The two teams met last season in Charlottesville, with the Cavaliers earning a 68-48 win over Mason. UVA has not traveled to Fairfax since November 30, 1996, their lone visit to Mason's campus. Coming off their finest season in 17 years, the Cavaliers won 22 games last year and earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament where they fell to Florida in the second round.
Mason's first road action comes four days later, a trip to Lewisburg, Pa., where it will square off against Bucknell. The Bison and Patriots square off for the 11th time, with Mason owning a 7-3 advantage including a 61-57 win in Fairfax last year.
With two games completed, the Patriots will travel to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands to take part in the 2012 Paradise Jam. Beginning with a 3:30 p.m. ET game against Mercer on Friday, November 16, the Patriots will play a total of three games over four days in a field that includes Connecticut (BIG EAST), Wake Forest (ACC), New Mexico (Mountain West), Mercer (Atlantic Sun), UIC (Horizon), Quinnipiac (Northeast), and Iona (MAAC). More information on the Paradise Jam can be found here.
On Saturday, November 24, the Green and Gold return to action at home as they welcome Boston University looking to break a 2-2 all-time series deadlock. The two teams have not met since a 71-69 Terriers win in Fairfax on December 4, 1985. Mason closes out the month of November with a road trip to Kingston, Rhode Island to take on the URI Rams on Wednesday, November 28. The Patriots defeated URI, 92-90 in overtime, last year in Hewitt's first game at the helm.
Another ACC opponent looms for the Patriots on Sunday, December 2, when they will face the University of Maryland as part of the BB&T Classic at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. It is the first trip to the tournament for Mason in five years, and first matchup with the Terrapins since 2004, when the 12th-ranked Terps defeated the Patriots in the BB&T.
A pair of home contests follow, as the Patriots welcome UMBC and Northern Iowa on Tuesday, December 4 and Saturday, December 8, respectively. It is the 20th all-time meeting between the Patriots and Retrievers, with Mason leading UMBC in the series, 11-8. Mason defeated the Panthers, 77-71, on February 19, 2011, in Cedar Falls.
After breaking two weeks for exams, the Patriots return to action on Saturday, December 22 in the inaugural Governor's Holiday Hoops Classic. Mason will face the University of Richmond in a game that will be played at the Richmond Coliseum. The Spiders, formerly members of the Colonial Athletic Association, lead the all-time series over Mason by a 33-16 margin but the teams have not played since 2001, UR's last season in the CAA.
One final non-conference game remains with a trip to Tampa following a week-long break for the holidays. The Patriots will take on the University of South Florida of the BIG EAST Conference for the two schools' first ever meeting, which will take place on Saturday, December 29.
After ringing in the New Year, the Patriots will begin their quest for a fifth conference title as they open CAA play. The seven-team 2013 CAA Championship will be played from March 9-11 at the Richmond Coliseum.
The full conference schedule, along with game times, will be released at a later date.
Basketball season tickets start at just $9 per game! Deposits are being accepted now. Now is the time to buy! To place your deposit, call the Athletic Ticket Office at 703-993-3270 or online https://oss.ticketmaster.com/html/request.htmI?l=EN&team=gmu&STAGE=1&PROC=BUY&EventName=1213RNEW. Single game tickets will go on sale October 27 at the Patriot Center Box Office and through all Ticketmaster locations.
2012-13 George Mason Men's Basketball Non-Conference Schedule (all game times TBA)