PEORIA, Ill. - The release of the 18-game Missouri Valley Conference portion of the schedule later this summer will complete Bradley's 2011-12 men's basketball schedule. Bradley's 13-game non-conference slate will include two games against Big Ten Conference opponents; participation in an exempt tournament in the Chicago suburbs; a 2-game, East Coast road swing; and a matchup against the college coach of first-year Braves head coach Geno Ford.
Ford will begin his inaugural season at Bradley with a 4-game home stand, starting with a Nov. 13 game versus UMKC in the opening round of the 2011 Chicago Invitational Challenge. The home start will continue Nov. 16 versus Southeast Missouri State and Nov. 19 against North Dakota, before hosting 2011 NCAA Tournament participant Wofford Nov. 22 in the second round of the Chicago Invitational Challenge.
The exempt tournament will continue with two more games at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill.: Nov. 25 versus Wisconsin and Nov. 26 versus either BYU or Nevada. Bradley played in the inaugural Chicago Invitational Challenge in 2006, routing Rutgers, 101-72, in the third round before dropping a tight game to Illinois, 75-71, in the championship game.
The Braves will open the December schedule by visiting Wyoming Dec. 3 for a matchup in the third year of the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge series. Bradley will host Northeastern Dec. 6 before beginning final exams.
Following the exams break, the Braves will play two games in three days on the East Coast, visiting George Washington Dec. 15 before visiting Drexel Dec. 17 in the return game of a 2010 BracketBusters meeting.
The 3-year, 2-for-1 agreement versus Western Carolina will conclude Dec. 20 when the Catamounts visit Carver Arena. Bradley will start a home-and-home arrangement versus Michigan by visiting Ann Arbor Dec. 22 in the final non-conference game before The Valley schedule tips off.
The final non-conference game will be played between Feb. 17-19 in the annual BracketBusters series. Bradley will host this year's game in the ESPN-supported series and will draw an opponent from a pool of approximately 100 teams from around the country. The BracketBusters opponent, game date and tip time will be announced in late January or early February.
Looking ahead to the 2012-13 season, George Washington and Michigan both will visit Peoria to complete 2-year scheduling agreements. Bradley also will host its game in the fourth annual Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge Series as well as Tennessee-Martin in the return game from last year's BracketBusters matchup. The Braves will be a road team in the 2013 edition of the BracketBusters.
2011-12 Bradley Basketball Schedule Notes
Nov. 13 vs. UMKC: The season-opener against the Kangaroos also will be Bradley's opening-round game in the exempt Chicago Invitational Challenge, as well as the first-ever meeting between the two programs ... UMKC was 16-14 overall in 2010-11, finished sixth in the 10-team Summit League.
Nov. 16 vs. Southeast Missouri State: The Redhawks were 10-22 overall in 2010-11 and tied for tied for seventh in the 10-team Ohio Valley Conference ... Bradley is 5-2 all-time against SEMO and is working on a 3-game winning streak against the Redhawks ... Six of the seven previous meetings have been played in Peoria.
Nov. 19 vs. North Dakota: Bradley is 11-0 all-time against North Dakota, which was 19-15 overall last season and finished third in the 7-team Great West Conference ... The Fighting Sioux won 11 of its final 15 regular-season games, including a season-best six wins in a row, before losing at Air Force, 77-67, in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament ... The teams have not met since Bradley's 109-77 win Jan. 2, 1969 at Robertson Fieldhouse ... Phil Jackson, who won a record 11 NBA titles as the head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, visited Robertson Fieldhouse three times as a North Dakota player and fouled out in all three games while averaging 11.3 points and 7.7 rebounds in his three visits ... Another NBA coaching legend, Bill Fitch, was North Dakota's head coach from 1962-67 and was 0-5 in his five trips to Robertson Fieldhouse with the Fighting Sioux ... Jackson (1,384) and Fitch (999) combined to win 2,383 regular-season and postseason games as NBA head coaches and both were considered among the 10 greatest coaches in NBA history during the 1996 celebration of the first 50 years of the league.
Nov. 22 vs. Wofford: The second-round game in the Chicago Invitational Challenge features a rematch of a second-round game in the HoopTV Las Vegas Invitational Nov. 22, 2009 at Carver Arena ... The Braves secured a 56-54 victory in the only previous meeting against Wofford when Andrew Warren picked off a pass at midcourt and went in for a game-sealing slam with 4.2 seconds remaining ... The win against the Terriers was Bradley's 300th all-time at Carver Arena ... Wofford went 21-13 in 2010-11, shared the Southern Conference South Division title with a 14-4 league record, then won the Southern Conference Tournament to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, where they fell to BYU, 74-66, in the second round.
Nov. 25 vs. Wisconsin: Bradley is 2-2 all-time versus Wisconsin and the teams have not met since the Badgers earned a 63-57 win Nov. 26, 1989 in the fifth-place game at the San Juan Shootout ... The Badgers were 25-9 overall last season and finished third in the Big 10 with a 13-5 league record before advancing to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.
Nov. 26 vs. BYU or Nevada: A matchup against BYU would be Bradley's fourth consecutive game against a 2011 postseason tournament team as the Cougars were 32-5 in 2010-11, shared the Mountain West Conference regular-season title and reached the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 ... BYU is 3-1 against Bradley and the teams last met in the 2009-10 season-opener as part of the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge Series in Provo ... Bradley won the only previous meeting versus Nevada, Dec. 14, 1960 at Robertson Fieldhouse (95-59) ... The Wolfpack dipped to 13-19 overall in 2010-11 and tied for fifth in the 9-team Western Athletic Conference with an 8-8 league record.
Dec. 3 at Wyoming: Bradley won the only previous meeting against Wyoming, 77-63, March 30, 1951 at Robertson Fieldhouse in the semifinals of the National Campus Tournament ... The Cowboys were 10-21 overall in 2010-11 and finished eighth in the 9-team Mountain West Conference with a 3-13 league record.
Dec. 6 vs. Northeastern: Bradley is 2-1 all-time versus Northeastern, including a 92-86 win in the only previous home game against the Huskies, Nov. 23, 2003 in the second round of the Las Vegas Tournament at Carver Arena ... Current Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea had 18 points, six assists and two steals in a losing effort for Northeastern in that 2003 matchup ... The Huskies were 11-20 overall and tied for ninth in the 12-team Colonial Athletic Association with a 6-12 league record last season.
Dec. 15 at George Washington: Bradley is 2-2 all-time against George Washington, most recently splitting a 2-year, home-and-home series in 1998 and 1999 ... Bradley has lost both of the previous meetings in the nation's capitol, falling 47-37 Jan. 8, 1940 and 91-71 Dec. 26, 1998 ... George Washington was 17-14 overall last season and tied for fourth in the 14-team Atlantic 10 Conference with a 10-6 league record ... The Colonials will visit Peoria during the 2012-13 season.
Dec. 17 at Drexel: Bradley has won each of the two previous meetings versus Drexel, adding a 76-60 home victory in a 2009 BracketBusters game to a 66-53 win in the first round of the 1997 NIT at Carver Arena ... The Dragons were 21-10 overall last season and finished fifth in the CAA with an 11-7 league record.
Dec. 20 vs. Western Carolina: Western Carolina has won each of the first two games in the 3-year series ... The Catamounts are coached by Larry Hunter, who was the head coach at Ohio University during Geno Ford's playing career ... Ford and Hunter have split their two previous head-to-head coaching matchups: visiting WCU earned an 89-84 overtime victory Dec. 6, 2008, while Ford's Golden Flashes responded with a 74-72 home BracketBusters win Feb. 20, 2009.
Dec. 22 at Michigan: Michigan owns a 5-1 all-time record against Bradley, most recently rolling to a 74-44 victory against the Braves Dec. 2, 1998 in Ann Arbor ... Michigan's head coach, John Beilein, is the father of first-year Bradley Director of Operations, Patrick Beilein ... The Wolverines will visit Peoria during the 2012-13 season.