Men's basketball schedule release

CINCINNATI – Mick Cronin and the rest of the Bearcats will gain a pretty good BIG EAST measuring stick right out of the gates.

The Bearcats BIG EAST slate starts with nine straight games against teams that qualified for last season's tournament, including a New Year's showdown with perennial power Pittsburgh. The 31-game schedule includes 15 games against 2011 NCAA Tournament teams and 13 games on national television.

"It's a sad day for all BIG EAST coaches," Cronin joked. "When the reality of how many times you have to play ranked opponents. I may take a vacation in January.

"You have to grind through it," Cronin added. "Make sure you stay together. Understand you are going to take a loss, it's inevitable. You just have to improve every day. If you get caught up in a bad week and it turns into a bad month that can ruin your season."

One of those national bouts brings Syracuse to Fifth Third Arena for a Big Monday match-up.

"We are excited about having Syracuse come in on Big Monday," said Cronin. "I know I will vote them preseason number one, they are pretty deep. That is going to be a big night for us. It says a lot about our program. If you look at the teams chosen to play on Big Monday, they are all ranked teams or perennial powers."

Nov. 1 – McGill University (exhibition); Nov. 8 – Northern Kentucky (exhibition); Nov. 13 – Alabama State; Nov. 15 – Jacksonville State; Nov. 19 – Presbyterian; Nov. 21 – Northwestern State; Nov. 25 – Marshall; Nov. 29 – Miami (Ohio); Dec. 2 – at Georgia; Dec. 10 – at Xavier; Dec. 14 – at Wright State; Dec. 17 – Radford; Dec. 21 – Arkansas-Pine Bluff; Dec. 23 – Chicago State; Dec. 29 – Oklahoma (U.S. Bank Arena); Jan. 1 – at Pittsburgh; Jan. 4 – Notre Dame; Jan. 7 – St. John's; Jan. 9 – at Georgetown; Jan. 14 – Villanova; Jan. 18 – at Connecticut; Jan. 21 – at West Virginia; Jan. 23 – Syracuse; Jan. 28 – at Rutgers; Feb. 4 – DePaul; Feb. 8 – at St. John's; Feb. 11 – at Marquette; Feb. 15 – Providence; Feb. 18 – Seton Hall; Feb. 23 – Louisville; Feb. 26 – at South Florida; Feb. 29 – Marquette; Mar. 3- at Villanova; Mar. 6-10 – Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York

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