Lincoln - The Nebraska women's basketball team embarks on its historic first season in the Big Ten Conference by playing a challenging regular-season schedule in hopes of preparing a young Husker team for its eighth postseason tournament appearance in the past nine years.
Nebraska Coach Connie Yori announced the Huskers' tentative schedule Wednesday, in conjunction with the Big Ten's announcement of its regular-season schedules for both men's and women's basketball. To purchase season tickets for Nebraska women's basketball, visit Huskers.com or call the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office at 1-800-8-BIGRED.
Although the Huskers are hoping to add one more regular-season non-conference opponent to their schedule, Nebraska's 2011-12 slate is loaded with postseason-caliber competition. In fact, the Huskers are scheduled to play 16 games against teams that advanced to postseason play in 2011. Nebraska, which features a 12-player roster that includes four true freshmen and two more redshirt freshmen, will be challenged early and often throughout the year. The season will culminate with five straight home games against 2011 postseason qualifiers to close the year.
The Huskers, who previously announced non-conference dates with USC and Creighton at the Devaney Center, and road battles with 2011 NCAA Tournament foes at Georgia Tech and Florida State, will add 12 conference games against 2011 postseason teams in 2011-12.
"This schedule is going to provide us with a lot of challenges, but we also think it is going to give our young team a little bit of a chance to grow up early in the year," Yori said. "The Big Ten is a great conference loaded from top to bottom with talented teams, so we will have to be ready to play every night. When half your roster is made up of freshmen, you want to give them some chances to adjust to this level so they are ready when conference play starts."
The Huskers open the season with a pair of home exhibition games on back-to-back Sundays at the Devaney Center with Pittsburg State (Oct. 30, 2:05 p.m.) and Nebraska-Kearney (Nov. 6, 2:05 p.m.). After the young Huskers get their feet wet against a pair of NCAA Division II exhibition foes, they will open the season with four home games at the Devaney Center from Nov. 12 through Nov. 21. NU tips off Coach Yori's 10th season at Nebraska by facing Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday, Nov. 12. Tip time with UAPB will be determined at a later date, after the announcement of the Nebraska football team's road kickoff time at Penn State.
The Huskers continue their four-game season-opening home stand by facing Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 7:05 p.m., before battling 2011 WNIT runner-up USC at the Devaney Center on Friday, Nov. 18 at 7:05 p.m. NU concludes the stand against Savannah State on Monday, Nov. 21 at 7:05 p.m.
After opening the year with four straight home games, the Huskers embark on what could be their most challenging week of the season when they play three straight on the road, including games against 2011 Top 25 RPI teams Florida State and Georgia Tech. The Huskers open the road trip to the Southeast with a Friday-after-Thanksgiving clash with Florida A&M in Tallahassee on Nov. 25 at 2 p.m. Last season, the Huskers defeated the Rattlers 73-57 on Jan. 2, 2011, at the Devaney Center, when point guard Lindsey Moore produced the first triple-double in school history.
Following the Friday afternoon game with FAMU, the Huskers take on ACC power Florida State in Tallahassee Sunday, Nov. 27 at 1 p.m. The Seminoles advanced to the second round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament and finished No. 16 in the final NCAA RPI. NU concludes the trip against 2011 NCAA Tournament qualifier Georgia Tech. The Huskers meet Tech as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Wednesday, Nov. 30 in Atlanta. Georgia Tech also advanced to the 2011 NCAA second round and finished No. 21 in the final RPI.
Nebraska returns home to face Texas-Pan American on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 2:05 p.m., before facing Creighton on Thursday, Dec. 8. Tip-off between the Huskers and Jays is set for 7:05 p.m.
The Huskers will make a quick turnaround to face Northern Arizona in Flagstaff on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 3:30 p.m., before closing the pre-conference portion of their schedule at home against Vermont and South Dakota State. NU completes its three-year series against the Catamounts on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 2:05 p.m., before opening a series with the Jackrabbits on Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 7:05 p.m.
Nebraska will play its first-ever Big Ten Conference game at Penn State on Friday, Dec. 30 at 6 p.m., in University Park, Pa. The Nittany Lions advanced to the 2011 NCAA second round and finished with a 25-10 record.
The Huskers play their Big Ten home opener against Indiana on Thursday, Jan. 5, before heading to Iowa to face the Hawkeyes on Sunday, Jan. 8. Tip-off with Iowa, which earned a 2011 NCAA Tournament bid, is set for 3 p.m. with a Big Ten Network national telecast. The Huskers wrap up a two-game road swing at 2011 WNIT qualifier Wisconsin on Thursday, Jan. 12, before completing their season series with Penn State at the Devaney Center on Sunday, Jan. 15 at 2:05 p.m.
Nebraska returns to the road to take on 2011 NCAA Sweet 16 participant Ohio State on Thursday, Jan. 19, in a game televised by the Big Ten Network at 5 p.m. The Huskers are back on BTN on Sunday, Jan. 22, when they return to the Devaney Center for a 5 p.m. tip with Minnesota. Nebraska concludes a two-game home stand by wrapping up its season series with Iowa Thursday, Jan. 26, at 7:05 p.m. The Huskers close January at Illinois on Sunday, Jan. 29.
NU opens an important month of February with a Groundhog's Day battle at 2011 NCAA second-round participant Purdue at 7 p.m. After a weekend bye, Nebraska returns to the Devaney Center to play host to 2011 WNIT qualifier Michigan on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 7:05 p.m. The Huskers close their season series at Minnesota on Monday, Feb. 13, with another Big Ten Network telecast set for 6:30 p.m., before playing three of their final four regular-season games at the Devaney Center.
The Huskers open the last quarter of conference play by battling 2011 WNIT qualifier Northwestern on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7:05 p.m., before capping their season series with Wisconsin on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 1 p.m. The BTN battle with the Badgers will be followed by NU's regular-season road finale at defending Big Ten champion and 2011 NCAA Tournament qualifier Michigan State on Thursday, Feb. 23. That game is set for a BTN telecast, as is the Huskers' Senior Night showdown with Ohio State on Sunday, Feb. 26 at the Devaney Center. Nebraska will make its first-ever appearance at the Big Ten Conference Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, March 1-4, before the 2012 NCAA Tournament field is announced on Monday, March 12.
The first and second rounds of the 2012 NCAA Tournament will be played at 16 pre-determined home sites that have been announced by the NCAA. First- and second-round matchups will be played March 17-20. NCAA Regionals will be held March 24-27 in Des Moines, Iowa, Fresno, Calif., Kingston, R.I., and Raleigh, N.C., to determine the participants in the 2012 NCAA Women's Final Four at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo., April 1-3.