Football season might be just around the corner, but it’s never too early to think about what could be one of the more anticipated seasons in recent memory for the Virginia men’s basketball team. Not to mention with the additions of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame, the ACC should be the nation’s top conference for hoops once again.
On Monday, the Cavaliers released their full 2013-14 schedule, which is highlighted by a host of in-state rivalry games, a homecoming for Coach Tony Bennett, nine contests against teams that finished in the RPI top 50 a year ago and a rival’s final home conference game.
Virginia, which returns its top five scorers from a squad that just missed out on the NCAA tournament last season, won’t have much time to get its bearings, starting the campaign against James Madison on Nov. 8 and following it up with a home game against VCU four days later as part of ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon.
The Cavaliers also face in-state foes Liberty and Hampton in preliminary games of the Corpus Christi Challenge. But unlike last year, when Virginia was upset by Delaware in the quarterfinals of the NIT Season Tipoff and forced into the consolation bracket, Coach Tony Bennett’s team will face SMU and either Texas A&M or Missouri State in the championship rounds of the event, no matter what.
Virginia will play Wisconsin for a second year in a row as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, this time in Charlottesville on Dec. 4. But Bennett gets another homecoming when Virginia travels to his alma mater, Green Bay, three days later.
That’s not the only road trip Virginia will make before ACC begins. The Cavaliers play Davidson at Time Warner Arena in Charlotte on Nov. 16 and then close non conference play on Dec. 30 with a road game at Tennessee.
Other nonconference games include home matchups with Navy, Northern Iowa (the school former guard Paul Jesperson transferred to) and Norfolk State.
Virginia starts ACC play at Florida State on Jan. 4 and then faces Duke and North Carolina on consecutive Monday nights (Jan. 13 and Jan. 20). The Cavaliers then have consecutive road games at Notre Dame and Pittsburgh on Jan. 28 and Feb. 2, respectively.
Virginia then closes the regular season with a home game against Syracuse followed by what should be an emotional afternoon game at Maryland on Mar. 9. It will be the Terrapins’ last ACC home game before leaving for the Big Ten and will be nationally televised on CBS.
Below, you’ll find Virginia’s complete schedule, although the times of some non conference remain up in the air at this time.
Virginia men’s basketball 2013-14 schedule
Nov. 8 James Madison, TBA
Nov. 12 VCU, 7 (ESPN2)
Nov. 16 vs. Davidson in Charlotte, Noon
Nov. 19 Navy, TBA
Nov. 23 Liberty, TBA*
Nov. 26 Hampton, TBA*
Nov. 29 vs. SMU in Corpus Christi, Tex., 7:30 (CBS Sports Network)*
Nov. 30 vs. Texas A&M or Missouri State in Corpus Christi, Tex., 6:30 or 9 (CBS Sports Network)*
Dec. 4 Wisconsin, 7 (ESPN2)
Dec. 7 at Green Bay, 5 (ESPNU)
Dec. 21 Northern Iowa, TBA (ESPN3)
Dec. 23 Norfolk State, TBA
Dec. 30 at Tennessee, 7 (ESPN2)
Jan. 4 at Florida State, 5 (ESPN2)
Jan. 8 Wake Forest, 7 (RSN)
Jan. 11 at North Carolina State, 5 (ESPN2)
Jan. 13 at Duke, 7 (ESPN)
Jan. 18 Florida State, Noon (ESPN3 or ACC Network)
Jan. 20 North Carolina, 7 (ESPN)
Jan. 25 Virginia Tech, 3 (ESPN3 or ACC Network)
Jan. 28 at Notre Dame, 9 (ESPNU)
Feb. 2 at Pittsburgh, 12:30 (ESPNU)
Feb. 5 Boston College, 7 (ESPN2)
Feb. 8 at Georgia Tech, Noon (ESPN3 or ACC Network)
Feb. 10 Maryland, 7 (ESPN)
Feb. 15 at Clemson, Noon (ESPN or ESPN2)
Feb. 18 at Virginia Tech, 9 (ESPN3 or ACC Network)
Feb. 22 Notre Dame, 2 (ESPN or ESPN2)
Feb. 26 Miami, 7 (RSN)
Mar. 1 Syracuse, 4 (ESPN or ESPN2)
Mar. 9 at Maryland, Noon (CBS)
*Part of the Corpus Christi Challenge