Aug. 29, 2006
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The 2006-07 Wyoming Cowboy Basketball schedule will feature four home games against opponents that earned bids to the 2006 NCAA Tournament. In addition, 2006 NCAA Sweet 16 participant Wichita State will play in the Wyoming Shootout in Casper, Wyo., on Dec. 9, and the Pokes will play a sixth NCAA Tournament team on the road in Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The four NCAA Tournament teams to visit Laramie this coming season will include non-conference opponents Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) and Montana (Nov. 15). Mountain West Conference foes Air Force and San Diego State are the other two NCAA Tournament qualifiers that the Pokes will host in the Arena-Auditorium. UAB will play at UW on Nov. 18 and then four days later (Nov. 22) the two teams will meet in Birmingham, Ala.
Wyoming will resume its series against regional rival Colorado on the road in Boulder (Nov. 26). The Buffs are coming off an appearance in last season's NIT. UW and CU haven't met since the 1998-99 season, when first-year Wyoming head coach Steve McClain led the Cowboys to a 67-66 win in Laramie.
The week before Christmas, the Pokes will fly to Honolulu, Hawaii, for the 43rd Annual Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic. Wyoming's first round opponent in Hawaii will be the Nebraska Cornhuskers, who are coming off a season that saw them earn a berth in the 2006 National Invitation Tournament (NIT). Other teams participating in this year's Rainbow Classic include: Charlotte, Creighton, Houston, San Francisco, Valparaiso and host Hawaii.
UW will return to the mainland and travel to Wisconsin-Milwaukee, to wrap up the non-conference schedule on Dec. 27.
"I think when you look at the opening week of the regular-season, it gives you a good indication of just how strong this schedule is," said UW head basketball coach Steve McClain. "We host Boise State, Montana and UAB in that first week. Two of those three teams were in the NCAA Tournament last year, and Montana won their opening round game in the NCAAs against Nevada. Add to that a team in Wichita State, that has four starters back from a Sweet 16 team, and I believe we've put together a very challenging and an exciting home schedule for our fans.
"Playing in the Rainbow Classic is always a very special opportunity, and we know that we'll play a Big 12 team, in Nebraska, in the first round. Then we finish up the non-conference portion of our schedule at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, which is a team that has appeared in the last two NCAA Tournaments."
The 2006-07 schedule carries a very definite regional flair, with not only Boise State, Colorado and Montana, but also Montana State and Denver on tap.
"We were able to bring a lot of regional teams to Laramie," said McClain. "And we hope that with the Colorado game being on a Sunday, rather than a weekday, we will have a lot of our fans go down to Boulder for the renewal of that series."
Conference play will see the Mountain West Conference again play primarily on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with some Tuesday night games added into this year's schedule. Wyoming opens MWC play on Jan. 3 at San Diego State. The first conference home game will be played Jan. 10 versus UNLV.
All total, the Cowboys will face six NCAA Tournament teams and three NIT teams from a year ago for a total of 13 games against teams that reached postseason in 2006.
Televised games and game times have not yet been determined and will be announced at a later date.