Posted: Jun 10, 2013 4:05 PM
Updated: Jun 10, 2013 7:42 PM
KANSAS CITY - The Missouri basketball team officially announced the non-conference schedule for the 2013-2014 season on Monday.
A return to Sprint Center on Nov. 16 vs. Hawaii, the annual Bud Light Braggin' Rights Game vs. Illinois in St. Louis and home games against UCLA and West Virginia highlight a challenging slate.
Mizzou also begins a home-and-home series with North Carolina State on Dec. 28 in Raleigh, N.C., and hosts games vs. postseason qualifiers Western Michigan and Long Beach State.
"We have a little bit of everything on our schedule for next season and I believe it will get our team ready for play in the SEC," Head Coach Frank Haith said. "It was really important for us to get that home schedule attractive for our fans, not only for this year, but for years to come, so the series with North Carolina State made a lot of sense."
Haith went on to mention that the schedule consists of not only major schools, but smaller schools who have seen recent success.
"Games our fans will immediately recognize are the Bud Light Braggin' Rights Game vs. Illinois and home games against UCLA and West Virginia," Haith continued. "But Western Michigan won 20 games last year, Long Beach State has become a perennial power on the West Coast and our fans are well aware of Southern Illinois' tradition, so this is a balanced, competitive schedule.
Haith emphasized the importance of returning to Kansas City.
"Another major focus was to get back to Kansas City," Haith added. "We have tremendous support in KC and that was very evident during my first year when we played games in the CBE and the Big 12 Tournament. Hawaii will be a good team and I think everyone expects them to challenge Long Beach State for that league's title next season."
Missouri owns a current five-game winning streak at Sprint Center with each of those wins coming under Haith. The Tigers meet Hawaii for the sixth time in series history (just the second time in the state of Missouri) and the Nov. 16 tip-off comes on a bye weekend for Head Coach Gary Pinkel's Football squad.
Ticket information for this game will be announced later this summer.
"We are certainly excited to be taking a game from Mizzou Arena and bringing it to our tremendous fan base in Kansas City," Mizzou Director of Athletics Mike Alden said. "This is an important first step in getting our programs competing in Kansas City once again and I know Tiger Nation will be excited to come out and see their team play at Sprint Center on Nov. 16."
Announced earlier this spring was Mizzou's participation in the Las Vegas Invitational (Nov. 28-29). Played at the Orleans Arena over the Thanksgiving holiday, the Tigers will face Northwestern and Nevada in a "classic" format. Complete tournament information will be announced later this summer by event organizers.
Two more home games and exhibition contests will be announced at a later date. Missouri's complete schedule, including the 2014 Southeastern Conference Schedule, will be announced later this summer.