The Northern Illinois men's basketball team will make 15 appearances at home in the NIU Convocation Center in its 2012-13 schedule, released on Wednesday.
"We have good balance to our schedule," said NIU head coach Mark Montgomery. "We have some exciting home games on the schedule and we look forward to getting the students, the community and all of our fans out to the Convocation Center. I also like having a good number of our road games not too far away so that our fans have a chance to see us on the road as well."
"We play some of the area schools with Loyola, UIC and DePaul. We also have the chance to play two schools from the Atlantic 10 in Dayton and UMass at home, which will be a big game. We have an excellent relationship with DePaul, so that is a good opportunity to play a Big East school. We go out west for two games, a return of a BracketBuster game against Seattle and we play the Pac-12 champions from last year, Washington, on their home court which will be quite a challenge."
On Saturday, Nov. 3, the Huskies will take to the floor for the first time this season when they host Aurora University in an exhibition contest. The game is scheduled tipoff at 7 p.m., following the Huskie football game against Massachusetts.
NIU will open the regular season with a pair of road games as they travel to Nebraska Omaha on Friday, Nov. 9, before taking part in the ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon on Tuesday, Nov. 13, with a 7 a.m., tip-off at Valparaiso on ESPN. The Crusaders went 22-12 last season and won the Horizon League championship.
Five days later, the Huskies begin a three-game homestand with their regular season home opener against Judson College. The homestand also includes games against local rivals Loyola (Nov. 24) and UIC (Nov. 27).
After a trip to Dayton on Saturday, Dec. 1, the Huskies return home to host SIU Edwardsville on Wednesday, Dec. 5, in a rematch of a 2012 BracketBuster contest.
Northern Illinois closes the pre-Christmas portion of its schedule with a four-game road trip, beginning on Friday, Dec. 7, against UW Milwaukee, a 20-win team a season ago. The Huskies visit DePaul on Sunday, Dec. 16, before making a two-game swing through the Pacific Northwest as they travel to Seattle University (Dec. 19), playing its first season as a member of the WAC, and Washington (Dec. 22), the defending Pac-12 champions.
In its final game before opening Mid-American Conference play, the Huskies will host Massachusetts on Sunday, Dec. 29. The Minutemen posted a 25-12 record last season.
Conference play for Northern Illinois begins with a three-game stretch against MAC East foes, beginning on Wednesday, Jan. 9 with a trip to Miami (Ohio).
The Huskies host defending MAC regular season champion Akron on Saturday, Jan. 12, and visit the defending MAC Tournament champion Ohio Bobcats on Wednesday, Jan. 16, before hosting Western Michigan in their first game against a MAC West opponent on Saturday, Jan. 19.
A two-game trip to Michigan follows as the Huskies visit Mount Pleasant to play Central Michigan on Jan. 23 and Ypsilanti to face Eastern Michigan on Jan. 26.
NIU's longest conference homestand begins on Wednesday, Jan. 30, as the Huskies host Kent State. Toledo visits DeKalb on Saturday, Feb. 2, and Bowling Green comes to the NIU Convocation Center on Wednesday, Feb. 6, to wrap up the homestand.
Trips to Buffalo and Western Michigan are sandwiched around a Feb. 13 home game against Ball State. The Huskies step out of conference for the final time on Saturday, Feb. 23 when they host a game in the ESPN BracketBuster. NIU then welcomes Eastern Michigan to DeKalb on Wednesday, Feb. 27, before hosting Central Michigan on Saturday, March 2 in the final home game of the regular season.
A trip to Toledo on Tuesday, March 5 begins the final road trip of the season. The Huskies will close the regular season at Ball State for the third consecutive year, that contest will take place on either Friday, March 8 or Saturday, March 9.
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