PEORIA, Ill. - The start of Bradley's 109th men's basketball season is still nearly six months away, but Bradley has solidified a 13-game non-conference schedule for the 2012-13 campaign that could give the Braves as many as 18 games against teams that participated in the postseason last year.
Including the nine Missouri Valley Conference home dates to be determined in the late summer, Bradley will play 16 regular-season home games and two home exhibitions for the second consecutive year. The 2012-13 Bradley Basketball Carver Arena season-ticket package will be comprised of 16 games, including the Nov. 3 exhibition contest, and season-ticket prices will remain unchanged for a fifth consecutive year. Renewal forms will be mailed to 2011-12 season-ticket holders next week and the deadline to return forms to the Renaissance Coliseum Box Office without penalty is June 1.
Among the non-conference schedule highlights, Bradley will host 2012 NCAA Tournament participant and Big Ten Conference member Michigan Dec. 1 to complete a 2-year, home-and-home agreement. The Braves also will start a similar agreement with Big East member South Florida, which reached the third round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, by visiting the Bulls Nov. 20.
Following home exhibition games Oct. 29 and Nov. 3, the Braves will open the 2012-13 campaign by hosting Eastern Illinois Nov. 9 for the earliest start to a season in program history.
For the second year in a row, Bradley will play a regular-season game on campus when the Braves host Texas-Pan American Nov. 12 at Renaissance Coliseum. The packet being mailed to season-ticket holders next week will include a form giving season-ticket holders the option to purchase tickets for the Texas-Pan American game at a reduced rate.
The Braves will play three of the next four games on the road, beginning Nov. 17 at IUPUI. After visiting South Florida Nov. 20, Bradley will host Tennessee-Martin in the return game from the 2011 BracketBusters contest, then will visit Central Michigan Nov. 27 to start a 3-year series that will bring the Chippewas back to Peoria in 2013 and 2014.
Bradley will play its first four December games at home, beginning with the Dec. 1 visit from the Wolverines, who will be the first Big Ten team to play at Bradley since #9 Michigan State played in front of a Bradley home record crowd of 11,597 and escaped Carver Arena with a 66-61 win Dec. 4, 2007. In Michigan's only other trip to Peoria, Bradley earned a 74-67 win against the Wolverines Dec. 8, 1997.
The Braves also will host George Washington Dec. 4 in the return game of last year's 67-66 win in Washington, D.C. After a break for final exams, Bradley will play home to Georgia Southern (Dec. 17) and 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Mississippi Valley State (Dec. 19) in the first two rounds of the Las Vegas Classic. Bradley will continue play in the exempt tournament Dec. 22-23 in Las Vegas, where the Braves will face two of three possible opponents: 2012 NCAA participant Colorado State, Portland or Virginia Tech. The tournament's Dec. 22 third-round pairings will be announced later this summer and the losers will meet in the Dec. 23 consolation game, followed by the winners in the championship game.
Bradley's final non-conference game will be played the weekend of Feb. 23, when the Braves go on the road for its participation in the annual BracketBusters event.