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2012-2013 men’s basketball schedule

October 18, 2012

Since they started practice last Friday, and there are just more than two weeks until the first exhibition game, it seems like it’s time to take a look at the 2012 EMU men’s basketball schedule. In case you’ve forgotten, we already looked at the women’s basketball schedule.

Exhibition games

The men’s basketball team schedule features just one exhibition game, though there are two more matchups that should be exhibitions. (Traditionally EMU has offered free unticketed admission to  the actual designated exhibition game.)

On Friday, November 2, the Eagles will host the Michigan-Dearborn. The UMD Wolves are an NAIA Division II team in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. Remember the WHAC, because it will come up again.

Non-conference schedule

The non-conference schedule begins with a should-be-an-exhibition game on Friday, November 9, against a familiar foe, the Rochester College Warriors, in their second season of NAIA play. The other should-be-an-exhibition game comes on Saturday, November 24 (that’s Thanksgiving weekend, in case you don’t have a calendar handy), against Madonna University, a double-header with the EMU women hosting Harvard at 4 pm. Remember the WHAC? (If not, go get tested for dementia, because it was just one paragraph back.) That’s Madonna’s conference also. I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again: I don’t mind EMU playing these teams, especially when they’re reasonably local, but they shouldn’t be considered part of the regular season men’s basketball schedule!

Turning to the “real” opponents the team will face, there are four major-conference opponents, all of which appeared in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, and three of which have garnered pre-season top-10 rankings (in the USA Today/ESPN poll, which is the only one announced yet). On Monday, December 3, the Eagles will again travel to Syracuse (#9), where they’ll hope to do better than last November’s 84-48 loss. Heading back to Ypsilanti, EMU will host Purdue five days later, on Saturday, December 8. On Thursday, December 20, the Eagles will make the short trip to Ann Arbor to face the Wolverines (#5). Finally, EMU will start 2013 with a January 2 game at Kentucky (#3); EMU lists the game time as “TBA”, but Kentucky has it down for 6 pm.

Other non-conference games of note include the inaugural “Iceman Classic”, hosted by EMU at the Convo, featuring seven games in half a week. EMU will play Eastern Illinois on November 16, IPFW on November 17, and Texas-Pan American on November 18 (a triple-header, with the EMU women hosting Detroit at 2 pm, IPFW playing Eastern Illinois at 4 pm, and the EMU men taking on Texas-Pan Am at 6:30). The tournament will also feature four games at the Convo in which EMU is not playing.

Additional games include November 11 at Jacksonville State, December 15 at Illinois-Chicago, December 22 against Oakland, December 28 against Sienna Heights, January 5 at Massachusetts, and Saturday, February 23, against a to-be-announced opponent in the ESPN BracketBuster ( a doubleheader, paired with a women’s game against Western Michigan.

Mid-American Conference schedule

For the past few years, the Mid-American Conference has had a nice orderly schedule, beginning with a divisional round-robin, playing the cross-division games in the middle, and then finishing with the second divisional round-robin. The 2012-13 men’s basketball schedule — like the women’s — retains the divisional round-robin at the end, but mixes the first round-robin and cross-division games together, and EMU’s first five games will alternate. The first MAC game (also the first home game of 2013) will have the Eagles hosting Ball State on Wednesday, January 9. The Eagles will go on the road to Bowling Green that Saturday, then return for a Tuesday night home game against Central Michigan followed by a Saturday afternoon game against Miami.

After two more West Division matches — at Western Michigan Wednesday, January 23, and home to Northern Illinois Saturday, January 26 — EMU will have three consecutive East Division games. Wednesday, January 30, the Eagles will play at Ohio, the 2012 MAC Tournament Champion. That Saturday, Groundhog’s Day, EMU will play at Kent State. Wednesday, February 6, EMU will host Buffalo in the renewal of the Ontario Sandwich Trophy. The Eagles will finish their first round-robin of West Division games at Toledo on Saturday, February 9, and then wrap up the inter-divisional play by hosting the 2011-12 MAC regular season champion Akron Zips on Wednesday, February 13. The second West Division round-robin will then consist of games at Ball State, Northern Illinois, and Central Michigan, with home games against Western Michigan (Saturday, March 2) and Toledo (either Friday, March 8, or Saturday, March 9).

Mid-American Conference tournament

The MAC tournament will retain the same goofy format they used in 2012, which makes it important to finish with one of the top two conference records, or at worst one of the top four.

The MAC tournament, part of the 2012 EMU men's basketball schedule.

The difference between fourth and fifth place — as the Eagles found out to their chagrin last year — is two games, 67% more. Sure, it’s nice to have that extra home game at the end of the year (nicer if they actually win it), but I’d take the two- or three-game bye over the home game any time. The first round, consisting of home games for the teams seeded #5 through #8, will be Monday, March  11, with the subsequent rounds running Wednesday, March 13, through Saturday, March 16, in Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena.

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