Sept. 17, 2003
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowboys strengthened an already impressive basketball schedule this week when they added Creighton to the 2003-04 schedule. The Creighton Blue Jays will come to Laramie to play the Cowboys on Monday, Dec. 22. Creighton is the fourth non-conference opponent on UW's schedule to have played in last year's NCAA Tournament. Of those four opponents, three will play in Laramie.
To make room for the Blue Jays, Wyoming will not play the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs in a game that was originally scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 27.
The other three teams on the non-confernce portion of the schedule that appeared in the 2003 NCAA Tournament are: California, Dayton and Southern Illinois. Southern Illinois and Dayton, like Creighton, will play in Laramie.
In addition to those four NCAA Tournament teams, Wyoming will also face Pacific-10 Conference member Washington in Laramie.
"We already felt like we had one of the best schedules in school history prior to adding the Creighton game," said UW head basketball coach Steve McClain. "But with this addition, I don't think there is any question that we've given our fans an opportunity to see some of the best college basketball they've seen in years.
"As I've said before, our fans have provided us great support through the years, and we wanted to reward them by bringing in the best opponents possible."
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. 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.
Creighton will wrap up the December schedule. The Blue Jays concluded the 2002-03 regular season ranked No. 15 in the nation in both the Associated Press media poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll. Creighton earned its fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament berth, and won a school record 29 games on way to a 29-5 record. CU lost in the first round of the 2003 NCAA Touranament to Central Michigan, 73-79.
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, 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.