CMU Announces Men's Basketball Schedule

MOUNT PLEASANT - An appearance in the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic benefitting Coaches versus Cancer and four non-conference games against teams which competed in the postseason last year highlight the 2006-07 Central Michigan University men's basketball schedule.

Central Michigan opens the year in the East Lansing Regional of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic benefiting Coaches versus Cancer. The Chippewas face Youngstown State in the opener on Wednesday, Nov. 8, and either Michigan State or Brown in the regional championship/consolation on Thursday, Nov. 9.

The East Lansing Regional winner advances to Madison Square Garden in New York City for the tournament's semifinal and final round, Nov. 16-17. Maryland, St. John's and Texas are also hosting four-team regional events.

In addition to the possibility of facing the Spartans, CMU will play three other teams who competed in the NCAA Tournament last season. The Chippewas host Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Nov. 29) and travel to Arkansas (Dec. 5) and Southern Illinois (Dec. 20).

CMU also heads to 2006 NIT participant Cincinnati on Nov. 25.

"We have a very challenging non-conference schedule for our young team," first-year coach Ernie Zeigler said. "We will be tested early and we'll get the opportunity to see what this team is made of. Coming together as a unit is going to be important as we embark upon a new era of our program.

"We are fortunate to be able to open the season close to home in a prestigious event like Coaches versus Cancer. All of us have had exposure to a family member who has had to deal with the disease, so it is a great cause to be involved in as well."

The Mid-American Conference schedule drops down to a 16-game format this season as CMU opens the league ledger at Eastern Michigan on Saturday, Jan. 6. The regular season ends on March 4 with a road date at Toledo.

CMU will also be in the pool of teams for the ESPN Bracket Buster event on Saturday, Feb. 17. The Chippewas will be a road team for the wild-card scheduling event and CMU will find out its opponent Jan. 29. CMU has participated in the event for the past three seasons as a "home team." As part of the agreement, CMU's opponent will play in Rose Arena during the 2007-08 season.

The MAC Tournament also features a format change in 2006-07 as all four rounds of games will be played in Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio on consecutive days. The men's first round begins on Wednesday, March 7, with the quarterfinals set for Thursday, March 8, semifinals on Friday, March 9 and finals on Saturday, March 10.

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