The Virginia men’s basketball team announced its nonconference schedule for the 2012-13 season, and it’s an upgrade over the relatively mundane slate that left the Cavaliers with little margin for error once they entered league play last year.

The highlights include opening the regular season at George Mason on Nov. 9, a trip to Wisconsin to face the Badgers as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Nov. 28 and a home game against Tennessee on Dec. 5.

The Cavaliers will also serve as one of the four hosts for the NIT Season Tipoff. Virginia will play Fairfield on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. in Charlottesville. If the Cavaliers win, they would take on the winner of a game between Pennsylvania and Delaware on Nov. 13 with a chance to advance to the semifinal round at Madison Square Garden over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The other pod hosts for the tournament are Michigan, Kansas State and Pittsburgh. If the Cavaliers lose either of their pod games, they would host four consolation games at John Paul Jones Arena on Nov. 19-20.

In addition, Virginia will take part in the inaugural Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic when it faces Old Dominion at the Richmond Coliseum on Dec. 22. The Cavaliers’ nonconference slate also includes home games against Seattle (Nov. 17), Green Bay (Dec. 1), Mississippi Valley State (Dec. 8), Morgan State (Dec. 19) and Wofford (Dec. 30).

The times and television networks for Virginia’s nonconference schedule will be released at a later date. The school announced its ACC schedule earlier this month.