Aug. 5, 2009
UCLA's 2009-10 men's basketball schedule is highlighted by non-conference contests in the 76 Classic in Anaheim, during Thanksgiving weekend; a home date with Kansas (preseason No. 1 by Andy Katz of ESPN) in the Pac-10/Big 12 Series (Dec. 6) and a trip to Notre Dame, Ind., to face the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame (Dec. 19).
In all, the schedule features 12 games against teams that were in the field of 65 in the 2009 NCAA Tournament and another possible three games against NCAA Tournament teams in the 76 Classic.
The field for the ESPN 76 Classic at the Anaheim Convention Center is very impressive. Joining UCLA will be Butler, Clemson, Long Beach State, Minnesota, Portland, Texas A&M and West Virginia. Six of the eight teams in the 76 Classic made the 2009 NCAA Tournament field (excluding Portland and Long Beach State). UCLA will open against Portland and then play either Butler or Minnesota the following day.
The Bruins will also play in the 16th annual Wooden Classic on Saturday, Dec. 12 at Honda Center in Anaheim against Mississippi State. This will be UCLA's seventh consecutive Wooden Classic appearance and 13th overall (9-3 in prior contests). Last year, the Bruins defeated DePaul 72-54 in the Wooden Classic.
"This year's schedule is very ambitious with the young team that we are going to have," Ben Howland said. "There are a lot of outstanding teams that we are going to play. The 76 Classic field is very impressive and Kansas will be a top five team in the polls. We also have a return trip to Notre Dame, which is always a tough place to play."
Other non-conference highlights include -- opening the regular season at home with three local teams (Cal State Fullerton/Nov. 16; Cal State Bakersfield/Nov. 20 and Pepperdine/Nov. 23) in Pauley Pavilion before entering the 76 Classic.
The Bruins also host three other non-conference teams (New Mexico State/Dec. 15; Colorado State/Dec. 22 and Delaware State/Dec. 27) before beginning Pac-10 play.
UCLA opens conference play on New Year's Eve at home with Arizona State (Dec. 31). The 2009 Pac-10 Tournament, featuring all 10 teams, will once again be held at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles (March 10-13).
"The Pac-10 is going to competitive again this year," Howland added. "Washington is going to be very good again as will California. Six teams have advanced to the NCAA Tournament out of our Conference in each of the last two years, so it is going to be a tough race."
In 2008-09, UCLA finished with a 26-9 overall record and a second-place finish in the Pac-10 Conference (13-5) and ended the year with a No. 18 ranking in both the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll and the Associated Press poll. The Bruins return only one starter (senior Nikola Dragoviæ), but welcome in their second straight top-five recruiting class.
The schedule is tentative and subject to change due to television.
Tentative 2009-10 UCLA Men's Basketball Schedule
Wed., Nov. 4, Concordia (Exhibition)
Tue., Nov. 10 Humboldt State (Exhibition)
Mon., Nov. 16, Cal State Fullerton
Fri., Nov. 20, Cal State Bakersfield
Mon., Nov. 23, Pepperdine
Thu., Nov. 26, Portland @ 76 Classic in Anaheim
Fri., Nov. 27, Minnesota/Butler @ 76 Classic in Anaheim
Sun., Nov. 29, 76 Classic in Anaheim
Sun., Dec. 6, Kansas (Pac-10/Big 12 Series)
Sat., Dec. 12, Mississippi State @ Wooden Classic
Tue., Dec. 15, New Mexico State
Sat., Dec. 19, @ Notre Dame
Tue., Dec. 22, Colorado State
Sun., Dec. 27, Delaware State
Thu., Dec. 31, Arizona State
Sat., Jan. 2, Arizona
Wed., Jan. 6, @ California
Sat., Jan. 9, @ Stanford
Sat., Jan. 16, USC
Thu., Jan. 21, Washington
Sat., Jan. 23, Washington State
Thu., Jan. 28, @ Oregon
Sat., Jan. 30, @ Oregon State
Thu., Feb. 4, Stanford
Sat., Feb. 6, California
Sun., Feb. 14, @ USC
Thu., Feb. 18, @ Washington State
Sat., Feb. 20, @ Washington
Thu., Feb. 25, Oregon State
Sat., Feb. 27, Oregon
Thu., Mar. 4, @ Arizona
Sat., Mar. 6, @ Arizona State
Mar. 10-13, Pac-10 Tournament @ Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Mar. 18-21, NCAA First and Second Round
Mar. 25-28, NCAA Regional
Apr. 3 & 5, NCAA Final Four
All games broadcast on the UCLA/ISP Sports Network (AM 570 KLAC in Los Angeles).