Sept. 15, 2008
Playing as many as 11 games vs. 2008 post-season tournament teams, including 10 vs. NCAA Tournament teams, Santa Clara University released its 2008-09 men's basketball schedule Monday. The schedule includes the 42nd annual Cable Car Classic - the longest running annual university tournament in the country and at least three appearances on the ESPN network. The Cable Car Classic, Mon, Dec. 29 and Tues., Dec. 30, will include James Madison, Belmont and UTEP.
"The schedule is a continual effort to achieve balance and competition for our team. That effort has begun with better competition from start to finish as evidenced by a number of games against teams that had successful seasons last year and are expected to have a successful campaign again this year," said Bronco second year head coach Kerry Keating. "Our goal is to annually challenge for a WCC title. The conference will be formidable enough and it's important that we prepare for that by playing quality pre-conference opponents that will be benefit us in the long run. This schedule is also a step closer towards achieving an exciting home slate for fans."
Fans will be thrilled when they see the newly enhanced Leavey Center. Off-season upgrades in the Leavey Center include the addition of almost 150 chairback seats in the upper-level West side of the arena (sections 209-213). Season tickets for the chairbacks are limited and selling fast, so fans are encouraged to purchase theirs today! Season tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling 408/554-4660, emailing BroncoTickets@scu.edu or looking at www.santaclarabroncos.com.
Santa Clara will host five home games vs. 2008 NCAA Tournament participants: Stanford (Dec. 23), Belmont (Dec. 29), San Diego (Jan. 11), St. Mary's (Feb. 7) and Gonzaga (Feb. 26). SCU will travel to four other 2008 NCAA Tourney participants: at UNLV (Dec. 17), at St. Mary's (Jan. 9), at Gonzaga (Jan. 15) and at San Diego (Feb. 5). SCU could play Arizona, a 2008 NCAA Tournament team, in the NIT Season Tip-off tournament and additional teams the next week in the NIT Season Tip-Off (Nov. 24-28).
The season begins with an exhibition game vs. CSU Monterey Bay on Nov. 7 and then the first regular-season game of the year vs. CSU East Bay on Nov. 14. The Broncos, who return three starters and welcome six newcomers, will then travel to Tucson, Ariz., for the first round of the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off Nov. 17-18 when they will play UAB and then either host-Arizona or Florida Atlantic the next night. In a new change of format this year, the winner of two games at the West Regional automatically advance to New York City's Madison Square Garden for two games on Nov. 26 and 28. The other teams will play two games Nov. 24 and 25 at sites to be determined which may include Santa Clara. Besides Arizona, seven additional 2008 NCAA Tournament teams and one 2008 NIT team are in the field of 16.
After the preseason NIT the Broncos will travel to Montana on Nov. 30 and then to San Jose State on Dec. 3. Santa Clara will then host Sacramento State (Dec. 6) and Notre Dame de Namur (Dec. 6) before traveling to UNLV (Dec. 17) and Pacific (Dec. 20). The Broncos return home to host Stanford on Dec. 23. Traveling to the East Coast for the New Year, the Broncos will play at Harvard for the first time on Jan. 2 and then for the first time as well at New Hampshire on Jan. 5.
Santa Clara will start the 2009 WCC season with a bang, playing back-to-back-to-back the WCC's three 2008 NCAA Tournament teams. The Broncos play at St. Mary's (ESPNU) on Jan. 9, vs. San Diego on Jan. 11 and at Gonzaga (ESPNU) on Jan. 15. The Broncos WCC home season includes an ESPNU game at home vs. San Francisco on Jan. 23, a Feb. 8 televised contest vs. St. Mary's and on Feb. 26 the Broncos will welcome Gonzaga when the two teams tangle on ESPN2. The Saint Mary's game on Sat., Feb. 7 could be moved for television to Sun., Feb. 8 and this will be announced in the next month.
Seniors John Bryant and Calvin Johnson's final regular season game of the year vs. Portland on Feb. 28 with the WCC Tournament being played in Las Vegas for the first time on March 6-9 at the 7,471-seat Orleans Arena.