Aug. 15, 2003
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
When the Wyoming Cowboys put together their 2003-04 basketball schedule they didn't shy away from scheduling some of the best teams in the country. Headlining the non-conference schedule are three teams that appeared in the 2003 NCAA Tournament, California, Dayton and Southern Illinois. Two of those three teams, Southern Illinois and Dayton, will play in Laramie.
In addition to those three NCAA Tournament teams, Wyoming will also face Pacific-10 Conference member Washington in Laramie.
"I think this is the best non-conference home schedule we've put together since I've been here," said University of Wyoming head coach Steve McClain. "Our fans have provided us great support through the years, and we wanted to reward them by bringing in some exciting opponents."
Southern Illinois will be the Pokes' regular-season home opener on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2003. The Salukis lost to Missouri in the opening round of the 2003 NCAA Championship after advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2002. The Salukis posted a 24-7 record in the 2002-03 season, and captured the Missouri Valley Conference Championship with a 16-2 conference mark.
There will be two exhibition games leading up to the Southern Illinois game. UW will host two different EA Sports teams on Saturday, Nov. 1 and Saturday, Nov. 8 to begin the 2003-04 season.
The December home schedule will begin with the University of Washington Huskies traveling to Laramie for a Saturday, Dec. 6 contest. That will mark the first time a Pacific-10 Conference member has played in the Arena-Auditorium since USC lost to Wyoming, 77-81, in the first round of the 1999 National Invitation Tournament on March 10, 1999. That was during Steve McClain's first season as Cowboy head coach. This year's appearance by Washington will be the first regular-season appearance by a PAC-10 team in Laramie since Dec. 9, 1985, when the USC Trojans lost to the Cowboys 79-89.
January's home schedule will begin on Saturday, Jan. 3 when Dayton will face the Cowboys in Laramie. The Flyers lost in the first round of the 2003 NCAA Tournament to Tulsa, after winning the 2003 Atlantic 10 Conference title. Dayton posted a 24-6 record for the 2002-03 season, and was ranked No. 16 in the final Associated Press media poll and 25th in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll.
The Pokes will go on the road to Berkeley, Calif., to meet the University of California Bears on Tuesday, Dec. 9. Cal advanced to the second round of last season's NCAA Championship, defeating North Carolina State in the opening round, before falling to Oklahoma in the round of 32. The Bears posted a record of 22-9, 13-5 in the Pacific-10 Conference where they placed third.
Also in the month of December, Wyoming with travel to Manhattan, Kan., for a road game at Big 12 Conference member Kansas State on Wednesday, Dec. 3.
UW will be facing several opponents for the first time in 2003-04. Dayton, the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, Middle Tennessee State, Tennessee State and Winthrop are all first-time opponents for the Cowboys.
In conference play, the Pokes begin their Mountain West Conference schedule at home against New Mexico on Monday, Jan. 12.
Three Cowboy games will be televised on ESPN and ESPN+Plus (ESPN Regional). All three of those telecasts will come in the month of February. UW will host Brigham Young on Valentine's Day, Saturday, Feb. 14 in a game to be televised on ESPN+Plus. Wyoming's one appearance on ESPN Big Monday will come on Monday, Feb. 23 at UNLV. UW will host archrival Colorado State on Saturday, Feb. 28 in its second ESPN+Plus home contest.
The Mountain West Conference season will conclude with the MWC Tournament on Thursday-Saturday, March 11-13. For the first time, the Mountain West Tournament will be played in the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo.