WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - The Big 12 and Pac-10 Conferences have announced the dates and matchups for the 2009 Big 12 / Pac-10 Hardwood Series. The series will be in its third year after starting competition during the 2007-08 season.
The majority of the games are scheduled for December 3-6, with three taking place outside the four-day series window. The matchups are new for 2009, after two straight campaigns of the same home-and-away meetings. In 2010, the contests will be return games from this year and take place from December 2-5.
Familiar Foes: In addition to meeting in the 2009 NCAA Championship Game and last year's ACC/Big Ten Challenge, Michigan State and North Carolina played in the first two Challenges (1999 and 2000) with the Spartans winning both games. North Carolina won both games last year.
First-Ever Meeting: Minnesota and Miami will square off in the first meeting between the two programs.
The event, which is owned by ESPN Regional Television and hosted by the Southern Conference, features eight teams competing in 12 games over three days.
Joining La Salle in the Charleston Classic will be Miami (Fla.), UNC Wilmington, Penn State, South Carolina, South Florida and Tulane and a team yet to be named.
CBE Classic (Nov 24-25)
Syracuse vs. Florida
Kansas vs. Washington
Before you turn on the TV for this tournament, do yourself a favor. Forget about last season. None of these teams resemble what you saw a year ago.
National champion Kansas lost no less than eight players from their roster, five of them to the NBA Draft. For just about any other program this would mean a dreadful rebuilding year. Not Kansas.
EA SPORTS Maui Invitational (Nov 24-26)
- Texas / St. Joseph's winner vs. Indiana / Notre Dame winner
- UNC vs. Alabama / Oregon winner
- Championship game
Usually, with all the hope and excitement that naturally accompanies the start of yet another great season, college basketball fans anxiously gather around their sets in November to take in all the...blowouts.
Whether you're awaiting Duke's season opener against the always dangerous Presbyterian College Blue Hose, or mighty UConn testing their mettle against the likes of Bryant and Delaware State, there doesn't seem to be much to look forward to in the very early season.
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