Missouri Basketball announced its non-conference schedule for the 2011-12 campaign on Thursday and five national TV games highlight the early slate, including trips to Kansas City’s Sprint Center for the 2011 CBE Classic (Nov. 21-22), New York City’s Madison Square Garden for the 2011 Jimmy V Classic (Dec. 6) and the annual Busch Braggin’ Rights Game in St. Louis vs. Illinois (Dec. 22).
Overall Missouri Basketball will have 16 national TV games in regular-season play (11 during league action) and the Tigers’ remaining games on both the Mizzou Sports Network and the Big 12 Network are typically carried on ESPN3.com as well, bolstering the club’s national visibility.
Mizzou opens on Nov. 11 vs. in-state foe Southeast Missouri State. The Tigers and Redhawks are meeting for the sixth time in series history with Mizzou owning a 5-0 series advantage. It’s the first meeting between the two clubs since Dec. 13, 1997. The contest also comes the night before Missouri Football faces Texas at Faurot field on Nov. 12.
The club then opens regional round play in the CBE Classic at Mizzou Arena. Missouri will open with Mercer on Nov. 14 and then host Niagara on Nov. 17. Missouri is 3-0 all-time vs. Mercer and the last meeting was Dec. 19, 1996 (90-63 win). The Tigers have never faced the Niagara Purple Eagles.
Games in Kansas City at Sprint Center vs. Notre Dame (ESPN2) on Nov. 21 and then either Pac-12 favorite California or Georgia (ESPN2/ESPNU) on Nov. 22 start a series of tests for a veteran Tiger club away from home. Home dates vs. Binghamton (Nov. 27) and Northwestern State (Dec. 2) then lead the Tigers into a highly-anticipated Dec. 6 contest vs. Villanova in the Jimmy V Classic in New York City. Missouri is 1-0 all-time vs. the Wildcats, with that meeting coming on Dec. 28, 1985, at the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu.
Three straight home dates vs. Navy (Dec. 10), Kennesaw State (Dec. 15) and William & Mary (Dec. 18) round out home non-conference tilts for Mizzou. The Tigers face Navy for the first time since the 1994 NCAA Tournament (76-63 win) and meet Kennesaw State and William & Mary for the first time.
The non-conference season concludes with two more national TV games away from home. The Tigers meet Illinois in the annual Busch Braggin’ Rights Game in St. Louis on Dec. 22 on ESPN2 and then travel to Norfolk, Va., for the fifth all-time meeting with the Old Dominion Monarchs on ESPNU. Missouri has won two straight vs. the Fighting Illini in St. Louis and MU is 4-0 all-time vs. ODU, including an 81-58 win last year at Mizzou Arena. ODU has made two consecutive NCAA Tournaments, but the Tigers have won all four of the previous meetings in the series, including an 88-75 win in Norfolk on Dec. 9, 1989.
Missouri will also face three in-state foes during exhibition play. The Tigers of course open preseason action on Oct. 30 in Joplin, Mo., at the One State, One Spirit Classic Presented by Leggett & Platt vs. Missouri Southern State University. All-proceeds from the game will go to support relief efforts following the devastating May 22 tornado in Joplin. Missouri then hosts Truman State (Nov. 2) and Central Missouri (Nov. 7) at Mizzou Arena before opening regular-season play.