Wyoming MBB non-conference slate includes Griz home-and-home - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Wyoming MBB non-conference slate includes Griz home-and-home

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Editor's note: University of Wyoming media release:

Wyoming basketball fans will have the opportunity to see the Cowboys host a pair of NCAA Tournament teams, along with two popular regional rivals and the first two rounds of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic during the 2016 non-conference schedule.

      On Saturday, Dec. 3, the Cowboys will host Northern Iowa in the Mountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge.  Last season, Northern Iowa captured the Missouri Valley Tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA Championship where the Panthers defeated Texas, 75-72, in the opening round before losing to Texas A&M in the round of 32 by a score of 88-92 in double overtime.  UNI finished the season with a 23-13 record.  Of course, the Cowboys and Panthers last met in the 2015 NCAA Tournament.

      The Cowboys will host 2016 Summit League Tournament Champion South Dakota State on Saturday, Nov. 19.  South Dakota State earned an automatic bid to the 2016 NCAA Tournament following its Summit League title.  The Jackrabbits lost a close, 74-79, game to Maryland in their opening round game of last year’s NCAAs and concluded the season with a 26-8 overall record.

      “We are excited that our schedule is now completed.  We have some real quality, NCAA Tournament teams coming to Laramie, which will be great for our fans,” said first-year Wyoming head basketball coach Allen Edwards.  “In addition, we are playing in a very competitive field of teams in the Las Vegas Classic against BCS programs, and as part of that event will be hosting our first two games in that tournament here in Laramie.

      “I think our pre-conference schedule is good in the sense that it will prepare us well for our conference season.  It will be a competitive non-conference schedule, but at the same time, it will give our team an opportunity to grow as we go into conference play.”

      On Saturday, Dec. 17 and Monday, Dec. 19, Wyoming will host Cornell and Troy, respectively, in the first two rounds of the 2016 Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic.  The Pokes will then travel to Las Vegas on Thursday, Dec. 22 to play DePaul at the Orleans Arena in the third round of the tournament.  UW will wrap up the Las Vegas Classic playing either USC or Missouri on Friday, Dec. 23.  USC posted a 21-13 record last year and concluded the season with a one-point, opening-round loss, 70-69, to Providence in the NCAAs.

      The University of Denver will visit Laramie on Wednesday, Nov. 30.  The Pioneers are one of two regional rivals that will play in the Arena-Auditorium during the 2016 non-conference schedule.  The other non-conference regional rival that Wyoming will play this coming season will be Montana.  The Griz will travel to Wyoming for a game on Saturday, Dec. 10 as part of a home-and-home. Wyoming will play in Missoula on Monday, Nov. 14.  Montana was invited to last year's College Basketball Invitational, losing 79-75 to Nevada, and ended the season with a 21-12 mark.

      Wyoming will open its 2016-17 season in Torrington, Wyo., on Thursday, Nov. 3 against Chadron State in the Cowboys’ lone exhibition game of the season.  The first home game in Laramie will be played Friday, Nov. 11 vs. Western State.  The Cowboys’ other non-conference home game will be on Monday, Dec. 5 against Colorado Christian.

      In addition to the road game at Montana and the road games in the Las Vegas Classic, Wyoming will travel to northern California for games in Stockton, Calif., versus Pacific on Tuesday, Nov. 22 and in Berkeley, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 25 vs. the Cal Bears.  Cal is the other Cowboy non-conference opponent that participated in last year’s NCAA Tournament.  The Bears lost to Hawai’i, 66-77, in their opening round NCAA game and ended the season with a 23-11 record.

      Game times and television coverage will be announced at future dates in connection with the Mountain West Conference and its television partners.

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