Hoosiers' 2006-07 Schedule Features 14 National Television Appearances
Aug. 16, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana will face one of the nation's most competitive schedules in 2006-07. Not only are the Hoosiers slated to meet three 2005-06 regular season conference champions and four 2006 NCAA Tournament teams on the non-conference ledger, but head coach Kelvin Sampson's club will play on national television 14 times and could have as many as 17 nationally televised appearances.
Indiana carries considerable momentum into Sampson's debut campaign, winning six of its final eight games last season to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the 33rd time in school history. The Hoosiers have enjoyed a productive offseason, as juniors D.J. White and A.J. Ratliff served as counselors at the All-American Camp in Indianapolis and senior guard Earl Calloway worked in a similar capacity at the adidas Superstar Camp in Suwanee, Ga., in July. White recently returned from a second straight stint as a counselor at Michael Jordan's Flight School in Santa Barbara, Calif., and fifth-year senior Roderick Wilmont was one of the top scorers and rebounders on the Big Ten Foreign Tour Team during its trip to Australia.
Combine the veteran leadership of White, Calloway, Ratliff, Wilmont and senior Errek Suhr with the continued development of sophomore Ben Allen and newcomers Armon Bassett, Xavier Keeling, Lance Stemler and Mike White, and it is easy to see why Sampson is so anxious to get the season underway.
"I am really proud of how hard that our team has worked this summer," Sampson said. "(Strength and conditioning) Coach (Jeff) Watkinson has done a great job working with them in the weight room and in conditioning workouts. They learn that there is a difference between playing hard and competing, and that will pay dividends this season."
IU opens 2006-07 with the NIT Season Tip-Off Nov. 13-14. The NIT will play its opening rounds at four different regional sites, and the four regional winners advance to Madison Square Garden in New York for the semifinal and finals on Nov. 22 and 24. Indiana opens the season against Lafayette on Nov. 13 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, while Butler meets Notre Dame in the other first round game that night. The winners will meet at Conseco on Nov. 14 for the right to move on to New York.
The other regional sites are Charlotte, N.C. (North Carolina-Sacred Heart and Winthrop-Iona at Charlotte Bobcats Arena on Nov. 14-15); Spokane, Wash. (Gonzaga-Rice and Baylor-Colorado State on at Spokane Arena on Nov. 14-15) and Nashville, Tenn. (Tennessee-Fordham and UNC-Wilmington-Belmont at Nashville Arena on Nov. 13-14).
Indiana has enjoyed considerable success at the NIT Season Tip-Off, capturing the 1992 and 1996 titles and advancing to the 2000 semifinal. Sampson looks forward to making his official Hoosier debut at one of the nation's premier preseason events.
"Events like the NIT Season Tip-Off are so valuable to college basketball because they give teams an opportunity to get additional games in early in the season," Sampson said. "Conseco Fieldhouse is a tremendous basketball venue, and we're sure to have a terrific atmosphere there as we compete for the chance to advance to New York."
The Hoosiers open the home portion of the schedule on Nov. 17 against Indiana State and Nov. 19 against Chicago State. The Hoosiers and Sycamores have had some close contests in Bloomington, as the last three games at Branch McCracken Court in Assembly Hall have been decided by a combined 13 points. This marks the first time that Indiana has faced Chicago State, who is in its first season as an independent after several years in the Mid-Continent Conference.
When IU hosted then-No. 1 Duke during last year's Big Ten-ACC Challenge, it was the most-watched telecast in the history of the event. The two storied programs will renew their rivalry on Nov. 28 at 9 p.m. (ESPN) at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The contest marks the fifth time in the last six years that IU has played either the ACC regular season or tournament champions, and the third time facing them on the road. Indiana and Duke have split the six previous meetings in the series, and just as last year's game was the Blue Devils' first trip to Bloomington, this will be the Hoosiers' first visit to Durham.
Sampson said that Nov. 28 should provide a solid gauge of his team's early-season progress.
"Duke is one of the premier basketball programs in the nation," Sampson said. "Playing the Blue Devils will be a great experience for our kids and will certainly prepare us for the battles we are going to have in the Big Ten."
IU returns home to meet Charlotte on Dec. 2. IU owns a 4-1 advantage in the all-time series with the 49ers, including a 71-54 triumph in Halton Arena last season. In its first season in the Atlantic 10 after 11 seasons in Conference USA, Charlotte advanced to the 2006 NIT. The Hoosiers continue the homestand on Dec. 6 when they entertain Western Illinois. IU hit a season-high 16 three-pointers in last year's 102-79 victory in Macomb.
When Indiana takes the Rupp Arena court on Dec. 9 against Kentucky (CBS), it will mark the Hoosiers' and Wildcats' first meeting in Lexington since Dec. 20, 1988 - a 75-52 IU win. Indiana is looking to build upon last year's 79-53 victory in Indianapolis, but Sampson knows that the Wildcats will be ready.
"Indiana-Kentucky is one of the best rivalries in all of college basketball," Sampson said. "I have known Tubby Smith since 1977. He is a long-time friend. I have always admired how hard-nosed and disciplined his teams are. It should be another great game."
Following semester exams, Indiana opens a two-game homestand against Southern Illinois on Dec. 17 (8 p.m., ESPN). The Salukis were one of five teams to make their fifth straight NCAA Tournament appearance in 2006, and should contend for another Missouri Valley Conference title this season. Western Michigan follows SIU with a Dec. 20 date at Branch McCracken Court. The Hoosiers return to Conseco Fieldhouse to meet 2006 Mid-Continent Conference regular season champion IUPUI on Dec. 22. IU is 69-12 all-time in the Circle City, including a 12-4 ledger at Conseco Fieldhouse. The Hoosiers close out the 2006 non-conference schedule when Ball State comes to Bloomington on Dec. 30. The Hoosiers are 18-1 in the all-time series with the Cardinals.
IU tips off the Big Ten Conference schedule at Ohio State, its only scheduled conference contest with the Buckeyes, on Jan. 2 at 8 p.m. on ESPN. The Hoosiers own a 99-70 advantage in the all-time series with OSU. (Ohio State and Northwestern do not travel to Bloomington, and Indiana does not travel to Minnesota or Wisconsin.)
Indiana starts a two-game home stretch against Michigan State on Jan. 7 at either 2 or 5:30 EST in a contest televised by CBS. The Hoosiers have defeated the visiting Spartans each of the last two years by a combined total of 11 points. IU concludes the homestand with a visit from the Purdue Boilermakers on Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. on ESPNU. The Hoosiers own a six-game, home series winning streak against Purdue, and the basketball series is crucial to the outcome of the AT&T Crimson and Gold Cup, presented by Simon Malls. IU has won two straight and three of the last five all-sports competitions between the two institutions.
Indiana travels to State College, Pa., to visit the Penn State Nittany Lions on Jan. 13 at 12 p.m., before returning home to meet Iowa on Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. on ESPN. The Hoosiers then step outside league action to visit Connecticut on Jan. 20 at 3:45 p.m. on CBS. Sampson is looking for his fourth win in his last five games against the Huskies, as he posted a 3-1 record against UConn while he was at Oklahoma. Indiana finishes the road swing at Illinois on Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
IU is back at Branch McCracken Court on Jan. 27 against Michigan at 12 p.m. (ESPN). The Hoosiers own a 10-game home winning streak against the Wolverines and have won 13 of the last 14 overall. Wisconsin follows Michigan with an 8 p.m. visit on Jan. 31, as Indiana shoots for its fourth victory in the last six contests against the Badgers.
Indiana heads to Iowa City to meet the Hawkeyes on Feb. 3 at 2 p.m. (ESPN) before returning home to host Illinois on Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. (CBS). Following road trips to Purdue (Feb. 14, 8 p.m.) and Michigan (Feb. 17, 4 p.m., ESPN), the Hoosiers are back home for their only regular season meeting with Minnesota (Feb. 21, 7 p.m.). IU travels to East Lansing, Mich. on Feb. 24 for a 9 p.m. showdown on ESPN with Michigan State.
The Hoosiers conclude the regular season with a trip to Northwestern on Feb. 27 or 28 at 7 p.m. and a March 3 visit from Penn State at 8 p.m.
2006-07 Men's Basketball Schedule
All times are Eastern and subject to change
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