May 19, 2008
The 2008-09 California men's basketball schedule features up to seven non-conference opponents that won at least 18 games last season, including five that advanced to the postseason, and has 18 games inside Haas Pavilion, Golden Bear head coach Mike Montgomery announced Monday.
Cal opens the regular season at home against Pacific on Nov. 15, will participate in an eight-team tournament that includes two games in Las Vegas and hosts the 16th annual Golden Bear Classic Dec. 27-28. The Pac-10 slate begins in Berkeley Jan. 2 when Arizona visits Haas Pavilion, and final home game is Feb. 28 against UCLA. In all, the schedule calls for 31 regular-season games before the Pac-10 Tournament.
Following a exhibition game vs. Seattle Pacific Nov. 6, the Bears kick off the campaign Nov. 15 against a Pacific squad that finished 21-10 last year. The Tigers played in the first-ever men's basketball game in Haas Pavilion - a 76-72 Cal win on Nov. 27, 1999 - and are visiting Berkeley for the first time since that meeting nine years ago.
The Bears' next four games are all part of a to-be-named eight-team tournament that features Cincinnati, Florida State, Western Illinois, Coastal Carolina, North Carolina A&T, Texas-Pan American and UNLV. Cal, Cincinnati, Florida State and UNLV will host the first and second rounds Nov. 18-24, and the third and championships rounds will be held at UNLV Nov. 28-29, with four games played each day. Cal opens the tournament at home vs. Texas Pan American Nov. 20 and North Carolina A&T Nov. 24 before making the trip to Las Vegas to face UNLV Nov. 28 and either Florida State or Cincinnati Nov. 29.
The Bears return to Haas Pavilion to host DePaul Dec. 3 before returning to the road where they will visit Missouri Dec. 7 and Utah Dec. 10. The Missouri game is part of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series. In the first year of the event, Cal defeated Tigers, 86-72, last Dec. 1 in Berkeley. The Bears' trip to Salt Lake City will be their first on the Utes' home floor since Cal and Utah split back-to-back games on Dec. 29-30, 1969.
Following a break for final exams, the Bears finish out the calendar year with four games at home, starting with Nevada Dec. 20. This marks the third straight season the schools have played each other - Nevada won, 77-71, on Dec. 3, 2006, at HP Pavilion in San Jose, while Cal prevailed on the Wolf Pack's home court, 74-68, last Nov. 28. Colgate then makes its first trip to Berkeley since 1981 on Dec. 22.
The Golden Bear Classic, which will run Dec. 27-28, includes Air Force, Portland and Dartmouth in the field. Air Force captured the title in 2003 with a 49-44 win over Cal, while Dartmouth is the seventh Ivy League program to participate in the tournament.
The Bears open Pac-10 action by hosting Arizona Jan. 2 and Arizona State Jan. 4. Cal moves out of conference on Wednesday, Jan. 14 when the Bears entertain USF in Haas Pavilion before returning to league play at Stanford Jan. 17. The Cardinal makes its annual trek to Haas Pavilion Feb. 14.
The Pac-10 home slate concludes Feb. 26-28 when USC and UCLA visit, with the Bears visiting Arizona State and Arizona March 5-7 to wrap up the regular season.
Non-conference opponents that reached the postseason last year are UNLV (NCAA), Utah (CBI), Nevada (CBI), Florida State (NIT) and Cincinnati (CBI). Among Pac-10 teams, eight opponents played in the postseason in 2008: Arizona (NCAA), Arizona State (NIT), Washington State (NCAA), Washington (CBI), Stanford (NCAA), Oregon (NCAA), UCLA (NCAA) and USC (NCAA).
Cal schedule has been rated one of the most difficult in the country the past two seasons, coming in as high as No. 6 in 2006-07 and No. 12 last year according to the Sagarin Ratings.
All dates are subject to change and will not be finalized until the television schedule is announced prior to the start of the season. Tip-off times will also be determined at a later date.
Cal is currently accepting deposits for new season tickets, with season-ticket renewals starting in August. The deposit guarantees new season-ticket holders the best seat location available after renewals are finalized. To reserve tickets, click on the Tickets Link at CalBears.com or call 800-GO BEARS.
2008-09 California Men's Basketball Schedule