Loyola Announces 2012-13 Men's Basketball Schedule
Ramblers will play 14 home games and have four games versus BCS conference foes
Porter Moser's squad will open the season at home versus Toledo November 9.
"We have upgraded the schedule and are playing four BCS conference schools for the first time in a several years," Moser said. "With such a young team, so people might think this schedule is overambitious, but I think playing great competition is how you get better as a team. This year's schedule features a handful of games against in-state rivals, as well as a tough tournament at South Florida. We will get thrown right into the fire on opening night against a very good Toledo team that will challenge for the title in the MAC-West."
Following the season opener versus Toledo, the Ramblers close out a brief two-game homestand by hosting fellow Jesuit university, Rockhurst, November 12. Loyola makes its first road trip of the year when it travels to Tampa, Fla., to compete in the South Florida Tournament, Nov. 16-18. There, the Ramblers will play three games in three days, taking on Western Michigan (Nov. 16), host South Florida (Nov. 17) and Maryland-Eastern Shore (Nov. 18) before heading back to the Midwest to visit Northern Illinois (Nov. 24).
Loyola closes out the opening month of the season by playing host to Tennessee Tech (Nov. 28) then rings in the month of December when it welcomes Furman to Gentile Arena on December 1.
A December 8 trip to East Lansing, Mich., to take on perennial Big Ten Conference power Michigan State kicks off a grueling four-game stretch, in which the Ramblers will play three BCS conference foes. On December 15, Loyola will host Mississippi State, marking the first time the teams have met since the famous "Game of Change," which was played March 15, 1963 in East Lansing, Mich., in the NCAA Regional. State law forbade Mississippi State from playing against integrated teams (Loyola's lineup featured four African-American starters), but the team snuck out of town under the cover of darkness to avoid being served an injunction, made it to East Lansing and played the game, forever changing race relations in Mississippi. Loyola won that contest 61-51 en route to the NCAA Championship.
After a December 22 trip to Jersey City, N.J., to face Jesuit rival Saint Peter's, Loyola takes a few days to enjoy the Christmas holiday before it reconvenes in the Windy City to prepare for a crosstown showdown at DePaul (Dec. 29).
Loyola opens up the Horizon League slate when it travels to Valparaiso (Jan. 2) for a showdown with the 2012 Horizon League regular-season champion. A road game at Green Bay (Jan. 9) is sandwiched between home affairs versus Youngstown State (Jan. 5) and Wright State (Jan. 11) before the Ramblers play three straight road games - at UIC (Jan. 16), at Chicago State (Jan. 20) and at Cleveland State (Jan. 23).
That three-game road trip is the prelude to a three-game homestand that begins with a January 26 meeting with 2012 NCAA Tournament team, Detroit. Loyola then plays back-to-back home games against its Horizon League rivals from the north when Milwaukee (Jan. 30) and Green Bay (Feb. 2) come to Gentile Arena.
A February 4 contest at Wright State kicks off a three-game road swing that also features stops at Youngstown State (Feb. 7) and Milwaukee (Feb. 12). Loyola closes out the regular season by playing four of its final five games at home - versus UIC (Feb. 16), Valparaiso (Feb. 19), an ESPN BracketBuster opponent to be determined (Feb. 23) and a March 1 contest against Cleveland State, which comes after the road finale at Detroit (Feb. 26).
Loyola returns three starters from last season's squad, including senior forward Ben Averkamp, who averaged team highs of 15.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game on his way to Second Team All-Horizon League honors. Moser also welcomes eight newcomers, not including recent University of Kansas transfer Milton Doyle, to the mix