HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -
Marshall will face 12 teams that qualified for postseason play last spring, including eight that participated in the NCAA Tournament as the entire men's basketball schedule was released Tuesday.
The Thundering Herd will play four teams from conferences with a top four RPI with road games at Villanova (Nov. 11) and at Kentucky (Dec. 22) as well as games against West Virginia (Dec. 5) and Cincinnati (Dec. 15) at the Charleston Civic Center.
"We are excited to announce our entire schedule for the upcoming 2012-13 season," said head coach Tom Herrion, whose team finished the regular season with a strength of schedule of 16. "As we have proven since I have been here, we value playing high quality opponents and this year is another example of that. I am sure that most people will quickly recognize the four opponents from the BCS conferences, but we have worked hard to schedule high quality programs throughout our non-conference schedule. Many of our opponents competed for their respective conference titles and played in postseason play."
Marshall will host one exhibition game on Oct. 29 against Bluefield College (Virginia). The Herd then opens the regular season at home against Longwood on Nov. 9, before heading to Philadelphia, Pa. to take on Villanova as part of the 2K Sports Classic benefitting Wounded Warrior Project. Marshall then travels to Long Island, N.Y. for three consecutive games, all part of the 2K Sports Classic benefitting Wounded Warrior Project. The Herd will first play University of District of Columbia (Nov. 16), an NCAA Division II school from the nation's capital which qualified for its NCAA Tournament last season with a 22-6 record. Next up will be a first-time meeting with South Dakota State (Nov. 17) which went 27-8 last season and won the Summit League to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. On Nov. 18, Marshall faces the host school, Hofstra, of the Colonial Athletic Association.
The Herd will then play its next 10 games either at home or within a two hour drive from Huntington which begins with hosting last season's Western Athletic Conference champions Nevada, now of the Mountain West Conference, on Nov. 24. On Nov. 28, Morehead State visits the Cam Henderson Center for the first time since 2007 as the I-64 series will resume for at least the next four years.
UNC Wilmington makes a return trip to Huntington on Dec. 1 after hosting the Herd last season, resulting in a 69-64 MU win. On Dec. 5, Marshall takes on in-state rival West Virginia in the annual Capital Classic in Charleston. Coppin State will face the Herd for the first time on Dec. 8 in Huntington.
Marshall will play Cincinnati on Dec. 15 in Charleston, the first of six straight games against teams with a winning record last season. The Bearcats advanced to the Sweet 16 last season and had a 26-11 record, one of those losses coming to Marshall (73-69 OT) in Cincinnati.
"Our great Thundering Herd fan base will once again help to create atmospheres in the Henderson Center and in Charleston that will allow for even more memorable moments for our great basketball tradition," said Herrion who enters his third season at Marshall.
Savannah State, which went 21-16 and lost in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament last season, comes to town on Dec. 19. On Dec. 22, Marshall plays defending national champion Kentucky in Lexington, Ky. in a game that will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 4 p.m.
The Herd will play its first game of 2013 on Jan. 2 against Delaware State in Huntington. It will be the second-ever meeting against the Hornets. To wrap up non-conference play, Ohio and Marshall will meet for the sixth consecutive season on Jan. 5 in Athens, Ohio. The Bobcats won the Mid-American Conference regular season title last season and advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament
"Our non-conference schedule will allow us to prepare for C-USA play," Herrion said. "We will face many different styles of play at home, on the road and in neutral type settings.
"This schedule is a result of a collective effort, particularly Mark Cline from my staff and thankfully our administration shares a similar philosophy and we appreciate the cooperation and support from Mike Hamrick (Director of Athletics) and Jeff O'Malley (Associate AD/Chief of Staff)."
The 16-game Conference USA slate begins with Tulsa at home on Jan. 9 and continues with this following games: at UTEP (Jan. 12), vs. East Carolina (Jan. 19), at Southern Miss (Jan. 23), at Memphis (Jan. 26), vs. SMU (Jan. 30), vs. UCF (Feb. 2), at Tulane (Feb. 6), at UAB (Feb. 6), vs. Rice (Feb. 13), vs. Memphis (Feb. 16), at UCF (Feb. 20), vs. UAB (Feb. 23), at Houston (March 2), vs. Southern Miss (March 6) and at East Carolina (March 9). The C-USA Championships will take place in Tulsa, Okla. at the BOK Center March 13-16.
Worth Noting: 15 opponents had winning records last season... Kentucky, Memphis, Nevada and Savannah State all won their regular season conference title... Nevada, Savannah Sate and UCF qualified for the NIT... Rice reached the quarterfinals of the CIT... From Nov. 24 to Dec. 19, the Herd will not leave the state of West Virginia (seven games)... It's the first time that Marshall has scheduled an all NCAA Division I schedule since 2006-07. District of Columbia was added by the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project... The last time Marshall played four teams from power conferences was 1994-95 (Billy Donovan's first season/Kansas State, at Kentucky, at Wake Forest, vs. WVU)... It will be the fourth-straight year that Marshall will play at least one game in the state of New York... Marshall has never lost to Longwood (2-0), District of Columbia (3-0), Savannah State (2-0) or Delaware State (1-0).