The University of Missouri announced its 2008-09 Men’s Basketball schedule on Thursday and Head Coach Mike Anderson’s squad will face another daunting slate of games, complete with 12 games against teams that competed in the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
Missouri opens regular-season action with two games in three days, hosting Prairie View A&M on Nov. 15 and UT-Chattanooga on Nov. 17. While the game vs. Chattanooga is played at Mizzou Arena, it will actually serve as an opening-round contest in the 2008 O’Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
The Tigers will then depart Columbia the next day for San Juan, P.R. Missouri will enjoy three games in four days on the islands, starting with a Nov. 20 contest against 2008 Elite Eight qualifier Xavier. Missouri and Xavier are matched in the eight-team bracket with Virginia Tech and Fairfield. The other side of the bracket includes Chattanooga vs. Memphis and Seton Hall vs. Southern California.
Missouri returns home for a five-game homestand starting on Nov. 30 vs. NCAA Tournament qualifier Oral Roberts. ORU finished 24-9 last season and ran away with the Summit League crown sporting a 16-2 league mark. The Golden Eagles are paced by the return of leading scorer Robert Jarvis, who was a first team All-Summit League performer averaging 16.1 points on 41 percent shooting from three-point range.
Following a home game with Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Dec. 2, Missouri hosts the Cal Bears and new head coach Mike Montgomery on Dec. 7. The contest vs. Cal is a return match-up in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series. The Bears topped the Tigers 86-72 last season in Berkeley, Calif.
Murray State then comes calling to Mizzou Arena on Dec. 13. Head Coach Billy Kennedy’s club went 18-13 last season and have enjoyed winning records on the hardwood for 21 consecutive years.
A Dec. 20 contest against Stetson leads the Tigers into the holiday season and another Busch Braggin’ Rights match-up with Illinois on Dec. 23. This year’s edition of the Braggin’ Rights Game will be televised live on ESPN2, with tip-off slated for 6:30 p.m.
After a short break for the holidays, Missouri returns to action on Dec. 27 and Dec. 30 with games against Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and Centenary. SIU-Edwardsville is a provisional Division I program and will join the Ohio Valley Conference as a full member for the 2011-12 season, while Centenary is a member of the Summit League and earned a 70-66 win over Texas Tech last season.
Missouri closes out non-conference action on Jan. 6 at home vs. Coppin State. The Tigers and Eagles have met each of the past two seasons and Missouri has won the two games by an average margin of 27.5 points. Give the Eagles credit however, as they rallied late in the 2008 campaign to win the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament crown to advance to the NCAA Tournament.
Missouri opens Big 12 play on the road at Nebraska on Jan. 10 on ESPN2. The Tigers then enjoy back-to-back home games against Colorado and Iowa State, before traveling to Stillwater, Okla., for an 8 p.m. contest with the Oklahoma State Cowboys.