Aug. 27, 2002
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming basketball program, fresh off a trip to the second round of last year's NCAA Tournament, announced today an outstanding schedule for the 2002-03 season. The 2002-03 Wyoming schedule features one NCAA Final Four team, Kansas; a second non-conference foe that appeared in the 2002 NCAA Tournament in Texas Tech; and a team that advanced to the championship game of the National Invitation Tournament -- the South Carolina Gamecocks. Add to that the fact that Wyoming will be participating in the 2002 Great Alaska Shootout, and you have one of the best basketball schedules in school history.
Two of those premier non-conference matchups will be played in the state of Wyoming. The Texas Tech Red Raiders will be the opponent in the 2002 Wyoming Shootout in Casper, Wyo., on Saturday, Dec. 14. The South Carolina Gamecocks will travel to Laramie and play in the Arena-Auditorium on Thursday, Dec. 19.
The third premier non-conference game will see Wyoming traveling to legendary Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan., to take on the Kansas Jayhawks on Jan. 15, 2003.
"I would say this has to be one of the better non-league schedules Wyoming has had in many years," said fifth-year head coach Steve McClain. "We are going to be tested early, and that's what we want. We want those early challenges to get us ready for league play. This is a great schedule for us and our preparation for the conference, and it's a great schedule for our fans."
"We feel the schedule meets a lot of our needs," said UW Athletics Director Lee Moon. "We have some outstanding preseason opponents coming to Laramie. We like having 14 regular-season home games plus two exhibitions to give our fans more opportunities to see the Cowboys. It fulfills our commitment to outreach by bringing an outstanding opponent to Casper, in Texas Tech. Plus, the Kansas game and the Alaska Shootout provide a great deal of national exposure for our program."
All total, Wyoming's schedule features 14 opponents that earned postseason bids a year ago. Seven of those teams earned bids to the 2002 NCAA Tournament -- Kansas, Texas Tech, and Mountain West Conference foes San Diego State and Utah, as well as potential Alaska Shootout opponents Michigan State, Montana and Oklahoma State. Another seven opponents participated in the 2002 National Invitation Tournament -- South Carolina, Detroit, Montana State and MWC members Brigham Young, New Mexico and UNLV, as well as potential Alaska Shootout opponent Villanova.
The Great Alaska Shootout features a prestigious field. Potential Wyoming opponents in Alaska will include: 2000 NCAA Champion Michigan State; Oklahoma State of the Big 12; and Big East Conference member Villanova. Wyoming begins the Great Alaska Shootout on Wednesday, Nov. 27 against the College of Charleston.
As always, the Mountain West Conference portion of the schedule will be challenging. The Cowboys will be looking to defend their back-to-back MWC crowns when they begin the conference schedule at home against New Mexico on Saturday, Jan. 18. Last season, six of the eight members of the Mountain West Conference earned postseason bids. Wyoming, San Diego State and Utah earned bids to the NCAA Tournament, while BYU, New Mexico and UNLV participated in the NIT.
In terms of television exposure, Wyoming is scheduled to appear on ESPN2 versus Kansas and will be featured on ESPN Big Monday four times as part of the Mountain West Conference schedule. Those ESPN Big Monday games include two home contests, versus Utah on Feb. 10 and against UNLV on March 3. The other two Big Monday television games will be at San Diego State on Feb. 3 and at Air Force on Feb. 17.
Notes on Wyoming's 2002-03 Men's Basketball Schedule
1. NCAA Tournament Teams: Kansas, San Diego State, Texas Tech, Utah (Plus potential Great Alaska Shootout opponents: Michigan State, Montana, Oklahoma State)
2. NIT Teams: BYU, Detroit, Montana State, New Mexico, South Carolina, UNLV (Plus potential Great Alaska Shootout opponent: Villanova)
3.Regular-Season Television Games: ESPN2 - Kansas on Jan. 15 (Potentially two more at the Great Alaska Shootout); ESPN Big Monday - at San Diego State on Feb. 3, Utah on Feb. 10, at Air Force on Feb. 17, UNLV on March 3; ESPN Regional - BYU on Feb. 8, at Utah on March 8; SportsWest - New Mexico on Jan. 18, at UNLV on Feb. 1, at New Mexico on Feb. 15, at BYU on March 6
4. Conferences Faced: Big East (Villanova), Big Ten (Michigan State), Big 12 (Kansas, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech), Pacific-10 (Washington), SEC (South Carolina)