ABILENE, Texas - ACU's first foray into the world of NCAA Division I men's basketball has the Wildcats playing in six different states against some of the most recognizable programs in college basketball.
The schedule is highlighted by the team's opening stretch of games, as well as one game on the ESPN Family of networks and one on the new Fox Sports 1.
The most high profile opponent on ACU's schedule is Maryland, which is playing its final season in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013-14 before moving to the Big 10 next year. The Wildcats will be at Maryland on Nov. 13, wrapping up a season-opening three-game road trip that will take them to Dusquesne in Pittsburgh, Pa. (Nov. 9) and St. Bonaventure in upstate New York (Nov. 11).
Maryland – which won the 2002 NCAA Division I national championship – will be coming off a Nov. 8 game against Connecticut prior to playing the Wildcats at the Comcast Center in College Park, Md.
After a few days back in Abilene, the Wildcats will be back on the road to Iowa in Iowa City on Nov. 17 where ACU will play the Hawkeyes, who figure to be one of the top teams in the Big 10 in 2013-14. That game is also slated for broadcast on one of the ESPN family of networks.
From there the Wildcats will come back to Texas to take on TCU at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in Fort Worth on Nov. 19. After a trip to San Angelo to play in the Angelo State Classic (Nov. 22-23), the Wildcats will go back on the road to play at Xavier in Cincinnati on Nov. 25.
The Musketeers are traditionally one of the toughest teams in the nation and will be playing their first season in the Big East Conference in 2013-14. The Wildcats' game against Xavier is scheduled for 7 p.m. (6 p.m. CST) and will be broadcast to a national TV audience on Fox Sports 1.
"We've obviously put together a challenging schedule, especially for a team that only has one player that has played a Division I basketball game (transfer Julian Edmonson)," ACU head coach Joe Golding said. "We did it for two reasons: first, so that it would help prepare us for Southland Conference play later in the season. And second, it helps us brand our program and gives our guys great experiences playing in great arenas against some of the top teams in the country."
The Wildcats were 4-6 on the road last year, and with their first 10 games on the road this season the Wildcats will learn to sink or swim early on.
"It's certainly going to be challenging to be on the road so much early in the season," Golding said, "but it helps us moving forward so that we'll be able to attract Division I teams to come to Abilene in the future."
ACU will play its first home game on Tuesday, Dec. 3, against Hillsdale Freewill Baptist. The Wildcats' first Southland Conference game will be Thursday, Jan. 9, at New Orleans, and their first home Southland Conference game will be Thursday, Jan. 16, against Oral Roberts.
That game will be the first of a four-game homestand that will see ACU play Central Arkansas (Jan. 18), Lamar (Jan. 23) and Sam Houston State (Jan. 25). ACU's final game of the season will be Saturday, March 8, against Incarnate Word at Moody Coliseum.
Information provided by ACU athletics department.