July 22, 2009
WACO, Texas - Three marquee non-conference opponents, including a trip to the ESPN-owned Old Spice Classic, highlight Baylor's 2009-10 men's basketball schedule released Wednesday.
The Bears will play 15 games at the Ferrell Center, including a March 6 contest against longtime Southwest and Big 12 Conference rival Texas on ESPN. Baylor will announce the addition of a 16th home game at a later date.
Baylor, which recorded the second-most wins in program history with 24 en route to an appearance in the 2009 NIT championship game, currently has seven games scheduled to air on the ESPN family of networks. Baylor's schedule also features seven 2009 NCAA Tournament participants - Arizona State, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas A&M. The Bears could play as many as three additional 2009 NCAA participants - Xavier, Marquette, Michigan and Florida State - depending upon the outcome of the Old Spice Classic in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Pairings will be announced at a later date.
"Not only does this year's schedule give our team a chance to play against the best in the country, it also allows them to do it on national TV," Baylor head men's basketball coach Scott Drew said. "The Old Spice Classic is one of the premier tournaments in the country and it's a great honor to be a part of that.
"We are very excited about Arizona State in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series," Drew said. "We believe the Hardwood Series has been an excellent addition to our league."
After an exhibition game against Central Oklahoma on Nov. 6, the Bears will open the regular season with back-to-back home games against Norfolk State (Nov. 13) and Hartford (Nov. 15). Then, for the second year in a row, Baylor will hit the road Thanksgiving weekend to participate in an event hosted by ESPN. The Bears will be one of eight teams participating at the Old Spice Classic at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando Nov. 26-29. Similar to the format of last season's 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif., all three Bears games will air on the ESPN family of networks.
The Bears will travel to Tempe, Ariz., to face the Arizona State Sun Devils Dec. 3 as part of the 2009 Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series. Baylor split its first two Hardwood Series games against Washington State, winning last season's showdown in Pullman, Wash. Home games against Jackson State (Dec. 15), UT Arlington (Dec. 20) and Southern (Dec. 22) await the Bears before the Christmas holidays.
Drew's squad will then invade SEC country for back-to-back road games at Arkansas (Dec. 30) and at South Carolina (Jan. 2). The Bears host Morgan State Jan. 6 before opening conference play.
Baylor will open its Big 12 schedule at the Ferrell Center against the Oklahoma Sooners Sat., Jan. 9, on the Big 12 Network. The Bears then head to Boulder to face Colorado (Jan. 12) before returning home to host Oklahoma State Jan. 16 on the Big 12 Network. Baylor will get see its first ESPN network Big 12 game Jan. 20 when the Bears face the Kansas Jayhawks on ESPN2 in Lawrence.
The Bears briefly step out of conference Jan. 23 to face the UMass Minutemen at the Ferrell Center in a battle of the previous two NIT runners-up. After hosting Kansas State Jan. 26, Baylor plays three of its next four games on the road, beginning at Texas (Jan. 30). The Bears host Iowa State Feb. 3 before back-to-back road contests at Texas A&M (Feb. 6) and an ESPN2 clash at Nebraska (Feb. 10).
In a rematch of the 2009 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship title game, Missouri travels to Waco to face the Bears Feb. 13 on the Big 12 Network. Baylor closes its regular season with six consecutive games against Big 12 South opponents - Texas Tech (Feb. 16), at Oklahoma State (Feb. 20) on the Big 12 Network, Texas A&M (Feb. 24) on ESPNU, at Oklahoma (Feb. 27) on the Big 12 Network and at Texas Tech (March 2).
Baylor hosts the Texas Longhorns in the regular season finale March 6 at the Ferrell Center on ESPN.