UTEP Releases 2010-11 Men's Basketball Non-Conference Schedule
Sept. 1, 2010
UTEP has finalized its 2010-11 men's basketball non-conference schedule.
"Coach Floyd and the administrative staff at UTEP have done a great job of putting together their non-conference schedule," said Conference USA Associate Commissioner for Sports Services Chris Woolard. "They were very strategic in the process of building a schedule that will give UTEP a strong resume for postseason tournament consideration. UTEP has a very nice mix of games versus teams from different leagues, including high-end games versus BYU, Texas Tech, Georgia Tech and either Michigan or Syracuse. UTEP also did a nice job of filling its home schedule with teams that have been successful in recent years, which should have a positive effect on the team's RPI."
The Tim Floyd era will begin with an exhibition game versus Eastern New Mexico on Saturday, Oct. 30.
Following a second exhibition versus Texas A&M-Kingsville on Nov. 5, the defending Conference USA regular season champion Miners will tip off the regular season at home versus Pacific on Nov. 12. The Tigers were 23-12 last season and co-champions of the Big West Conference. They lost to Missouri State, 78-65, in the championship game of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. Pacific returns four of its top five scorers from last season.
UTEP and Pacific have staged some thrilling battles on the hardwood. On March 17, 1967, the Tigers knocked the defending national champion Miners into the consolation draw of the NCAA Tournament with a 72-63 victory in Corvallis, Ore. On Feb. 19, 2005, Pacific dealt UTEP a 73-66 setback in an ESPN BracketBuster game at Stockton, Calif. The Miners avenged the loss with a 72-66 overtime triumph on Dec. 20, 2005 at the Haskins Center, as John Tofi's three-pointer at the buzzer sent the game to an extra session.
Following the Pacific game, the Miners will host Mercer (Nov. 14) and Western Carolina (Nov. 20) in regional round play of the 2010 Legends Classic. Western Carolina was 22-12 last season and won at Louisville, 91-83.
A week later, the Miners will join Georgia Tech, Michigan and Syracuse in the Legends Classic championship rounds at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. UTEP will take on Georgia Tech (23-13 in 2009-10, NCAA Tournament second round) on Nov. 26, with the tournament consolation and championship games set for Nov. 27. Syracuse closed out the '09-10 campaign with a 30-5 mark and a 63-59 loss to national runner-up Butler in the NCAA Tournament West Region semifinals.
UTEP's annual home-and-home series with NM State is scheduled for Nov. 23 in El Paso and Nov. 30 in Las Cruces. The Nov. 23 matchup will mark the 200th matchup between the I-10 rivals.
Including the two meetings with the Aggies, UTEP could play as many as nine games versus teams that posted 20+ wins last season in the non-conference portion of its schedule. The others are Pacific, Western Carolina, Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Stephen F. Austin (Dec. 20 at the Haskins Center), BYU (Dec. 23 at Provo) and Sam Houston State (Jan. 2 at the Haskins Center). The schedule also includes home dates with an 18-game winner (Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Dec. 12) and a 19-victory squad (Texas Tech on Dec. 18). In all nine 2010 postseason teams line the non-conference schedule.
The Miners will renew their regional rivalry with Texas Tech, and play at BYU for the first time since the 1998-99 season.
UTEP will participate in the Bank of the West Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational Dec. 28-29 at the Haskins Center. The tournament field will be announced at a later date.
UTEP was 26-7 last season, finished 15-1 in C-USA action and made its first NCAA Tournament appearance in five years. The Miners return three starters and eight lettermen, including C-USA Player of the Year Randy Culpepper.
Season tickets are on sale now by calling (915) 747-6150. Legends Classic games on Nov. 14 and Nov. 20 are not included in the season ticket package because it is an outside event run by the Gazelle Group. Floor seats are $25 and all other reserved seats are $15. Season ticket holders have the first right-of-refusal on securing their season ticket location for the Legends Classic games. Season ticket holders who wish to secure their seat location for the two Legends Classic games in El Paso must call 747-6150 between Sept. 8 and Oct. 15. After Oct. 15, the seats will become available to the general public.
The Conference USA schedule will be announced next week.