NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Atlantic 10 Conference released its 2012-13 men's basketball schedule on Thursday, and the defending A-10 Champion St. Bonaventure Bonnies will have eight games either nationally or regionally televised as part of their 16-game docket.
Back-to-back national TV games on CBS Sports Network at home against Xavier (Jan. 16) in a rematch of last year's A-10 title game, and on the road opposite Temple (Jan. 19) highlight a stretch in which six of St. Bonaventure's first eight A-10 contests appear on national or regional TV.
The Bonnies open the league campaign on Wednesday, Jan. 9, at George Washington – nearly a week later than last year. The Brown and White and the Colonials also squared off in last season's conference opener at the Reilly Center in which SBU claimed a 66-56 win. GW finished 10-21 last year, including a 5-11 showing within the A-10.
Following the opener, the Bonnies begin their home conference slate with a marquee opponent as they entertain head coach Shaka Smart and his Virginia Commonwealth University club on Saturday, Jan. 12. The game, which will be televised regionally by CBS Sports Network, will represent VCU's first road contest as a member of the A-10. The Rams, who went to the 2011 Final Four as an 11 seed, are coming off a school-record 29 wins last year despite being the ninth-youngest team in the nation.
The game against VCU marks the beginning of an extremely challenging five-game stretch for the Bonnies, who then face aforementioned Xavier and Temple before traveling to Saint Joseph's (Jan. 23) and hosting Saint Louis (Jan. 26 – CBS Sports Network (regional)). Those five teams all won at least 20 games last year, combining for a 122-50 record and a 59-23 mark in conference action (VCU as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association). Four of the five squads went to the NCAA Tournament, while Saint Joe's advanced to the NIT.
After the difficult stretch, Bona gets a midweek bye – the first of two on the season – before playing travel partner Duquesne at the RC on Saturday, Feb. 2, in a game regionally broadcasted by the CBS Sports Network.
The Bonnies then begin a short, but lengthy, 900-mile road trip at iconic Hinkle Fieldhouse against A-10 newcomer Butler on Wednesday, Feb. 6, in a contest once again televised regionally by the CBS Sports Network. Butler – a two-time Final Four participant in the last three seasons – returns 87 percent of its scoring from a year ago, and besides Kentucky, the Bulldogs have the most postseason victories in college basketball over the past three seasons.
A long trek to Kingston, R.I., awaits the club after its visit to Indianapolis as it faces Rhode Island and new head coach Dan Hurley on Saturday, Feb. 9. The Rams struggled to a 7-24, 4-12 A-10 record last year in former Bonaventure player and coach Jim Baron's final season.
St. Bona then alternates home and away games for the remaining seven outings, beginning with a home contest against La Salle on Wednesday, Feb. 13. The Explorers – who earned a berth in the 2012 NIT – return four starters and 71 percent of their scoring from a 21-win team.
The Bonnies head south to Virginia to battle Richmond on Feb. 16 before returning home to face Massachusetts on Wednesday, Feb. 20, in a rematch of last year's A-10 semifinal. The game will be the final home TV contest as it will air regionally via the CBS Sports Network. The Minutemen return four starters, including their top four scorers, and nine of their top 10 rebounders from a squad which advanced to the NIT Final Four at Madison Square Garden.
A visit to Pittsburgh and a second meeting of the season with rival Duquesne on Saturday, Feb. 23, precedes Bonaventure's second bye week of the league ledger. Following the midweek bye, SBU hosts Charlotte on Saturday, March 2, for the final time during the regular season as a member of the A-10.
The final regular-season road trip of the year coincides with Bona's final regular-season TV appearance of year (CBS Sports Network (regional)) on March 6 when it faces Dayton. The regular season concludes for the Bonnies on Saturday, March 9, when they host Fordham.
The eight A-10 TV games are the most in more than a decade for St. Bonaventure. In total, the league schedule includes a conference-record 56 nationally televised games and 19 regionally televised games. All game times will be set at a later date to accommodate TV coverage.
Six of St. Bonaventure's eight conference home games occur when classes are in session. The two games which do not (Jan. 12 vs. VCU; March 2 vs. Charlotte) take place on Saturdays at the tail end of academic breaks (Christmas, Spring).
St. Bonaventure returns three starters, led by senior Demitrius Conger, from last year's team which advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2000 and nearly defeated ACC Champion Florida State in the Second Round. By going 10-6 and finishing 4th in the A-10 in 2012, Bonaventure increased its conference win total and bettered its league finish for the fifth straight year under head coach Mark Schmidt.
Season ticket renewals and limited non-priority new season tickets for the 2012-13 season are now available through the Reilly Center Ticket Office. For detailed information about season- and single-game tickets, please click here. Additional inquiries may be directed to Melissa Curran via email at email@example.com or by phone at 716-375-2500.
Those interested in sponsorship opportunities for the 2012-13 season may contact Aaron Hill, director of sales and marketing, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 716-375-2086.