Highlighted by a school record 17 home games, the 2012-13 Kent State men's basketball schedule provides fans ample opportunity to see their favorite college hoops team in the M.A.C. Center this winter. The schedule for the upcoming season was officially released on Wednesday (Aug. 29) morning and is filled with marque non-conference programs that combined for seven postseason appearances a year ago.
"There is no question that this is our toughest non-conference schedule in school history," said Head Coach Rob Senderoff who led the Golden Flashes to a 21-12 record and a CollegeInsider.com Tournament appearance a year ago.
"We wanted to put together a challenging schedule that would treat our fans to a high-level of basketball. In addition we wanted to give our team a chance to pick up a few marquee non-league wins early in the season to help build our postseason resume."
The season begins with a five-game home stand on November 9 vs Drexel, which won the Colonial Athletic Association with a 29-7 record a year ago. Four days later, defending Atlantic-10 champion, Temple visits the M.A.C. Center as part of ESPN's fifth annual College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. Kent State is scheduled to host Owls that Tuesday at 12:00 p.m. in a game that will be broadcast live nationally on the ESPN family of networks.
Reigning Horizon League Champion, Valparaiso (Nov. 18) is also part of the five-game homestand that includes Chicago State (Nov. 16) and Bethune Cookman (Nov. 20).
"In our first four games over a nine game span we face the defending champions of the CAA, Atlantic-10 and Horizon League so we are going to be tested right out of the gate and our guys will need to be up to the challenge," said Senderoff. "Those games are just part of our non-conference schedule that features nine games against winning teams, including seven that won at least 20 games last year."
The rest of the non-conference home slate includes games against Princeton (Dec. 1), Saint Francis (Pa.) (Dec. 20), Arkansas State (Dec. 22) and Fairmont State (Dec. 30). The Golden Flashes make road trips to Nebraska (Nov. 24), Youngstown State (Nov. 28), reigning Patriot League champ Bucknell (Dec. 4), NCAA Sweet 16 participant Xavier (Dec. 9), and NIT participant Cleveland State (Jan. 2).
The Mid-American Conference portion of the schedule gets underway on January 9 vs Toledo. Kent State will also host Akron (Jan. 19) and Ohio (Jan. 26) on back-to-back Saturday's during the month. February home games include Eastern Michigan (Feb. 2), Central Michigan (Feb. 9), Miami (Feb. 13) and Buffalo (Feb. 27). The home schedule ends against Bowling Green on March 5.
The annual ESPN BracketBuster contest is a road game this year for the Golden Flashes taking place the weekend of Feb. 22-24.