BATON ROUGE - The Southeastern Conference and LSU announced its 2012-13 men's basketball schedule Friday that includes the new and much anticipated league schedule of 18 games.
Each team will play every team in the league once, a natural rival twice and then four other teams on a rotating basis twice in each schedule.
The schedule must still be approved by the LSU Athletics Council at its next meeting.
Also announced was the non-conference schedule for the Tigers which will give it a total of 17 games at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center under first year head coach Johnny Jones. The schedule will open on Friday, Nov. 9 against California-Santa Barbara, a team that won 20 games a year ago and advanced to post-season play.
In all, LSU will play 15 games against teams that advanced to post-season play (UCSB, Seton Hall, Mississippi Valley, Marquette, Alabama (2), Florida, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Mississippi State (2), Missouri (2), Tennessee and Vanderbilt).
"We are excited about the schedule that we have for this year," Coach Jones said about the slate. "I am familiar with having 18 conference games in the SEC from my days as a player and assistant coach here at LSU. Our non-conference schedule, which features games at Marquette and Boise State and a home game against Seton Hall in the SEC/Big East Challenge, will hopefully help prepare us for the SEC schedule.
"It is a demanding schedule," Jones said, "and we look forward to our LSU basketball program embracing the challenges of that schedule."
LSU will open league play at Auburn on Wednesday, Jan. 9, with an 8 p.m. game broadcast on CSS/CST. All 18 games will be broadcast on one of the ESPN Networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and SEC Network), CSS/CST or the Fox Sports regional networks.
It is the first time the SEC has played 18 conference games since the days of the 10-team, 18-game round robin schedule that the league played from 1967 to 1991. In 1992 the league added two teams to 12 and the SEC moved to the 16-game schedule that continued through last season.
The Tigers will open its conference play at home on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 3 p.m. on ESPNU against the University of Florida.
LSU's five teams that it will play both home and away in the 18-game schedule are: Texas A&M (LSU's designated natural rival); Alabama, Missouri, Mississippi State and South Carolina.
Highlighting the non-conference schedule will be a home game for LSU in the SEC-Big East Challenge on Thursday, Nov. 29 when Seton Hall comes to the Maravich Center in a game that will also be televised on one of the ESPN networks. LSU was one of the league schools to score a win last year in the Challenge for the SEC, beating Rutgers on its home floor in Piscataway. Seton Hall won 20 games a year ago and advanced to the second round of post-season play.
LSU will also host two in-state schools in November at the Maravich Center - McNeese State on Nov. 13 and Northwestern State on Nov. 20.
Season ticket holders have until Aug. 31 to renew their tickets for the 2012-13 season at www.LSUtix.net. Every season ticket holder who renews their tickets this year will automatically be put in a random drawing for a slew of great prizes, including:
- Authentic LSU Basketball memorabilia autographed by Coach Jones, including: LSU basketballs, Nike shoes, media guides, and more;
- Win a chance to participate in unique LSU experiences, including: tour Tiger Stadium and the Maravich Center, have dinner with the LSU Tiger Girls and Cheerleaders, attend a basketball practice, and enjoy the "premium" LSU Basketball game day experience; and,
- Valuable gifts, including: LSUshop.net $50 gift certificates, a free season parking pass, and a free pair of season tickets.
Those wishing to put a $12 deposit down on new season tickets may do so at www.LSUtix.net/12. The deadline for those deposits to receive priority consideration is also Aug. 31.