Nebraska's 19 regular-season home games will top the mark of 18 games played at the Devaney Center in three previous seasons. The most recent squad to play 18 home games was the 2003-04 Huskers which went 15-3 at the Devaney Center.
"We are looking forward to the start of the season and tipping things off with the John Thompson Classic," sixth-year head coach Barry Collier said. "Our fans can look forward to three days of great action to start the season with our new team. Husker fans will also be able to see us at home a record number of times this season and that is a great advantage for us."
Nebraska begins the regular season with three games in three days as the Huskers play host to the John Thompson Classic Nov. 18-20. An exempt tournament that will allow the Huskers to play 29 regular-season contests this year, the John Thompson Classic is named after the legendary Georgetown coach who led the Hoyas to the 1984 national title and three Final Four appearances in his 27-year coaching career which included 596 victories.
The 2005 John Thompson Classic field includes Louisiana Tech, Yale and Longwood along with the Huskers, and will feature two contests each day. It will be the first tournament hosted by Nebraska since the 2000 Husker Classic.
"While fans around the state will again be able to see a great number of Husker road games on television, the John Thompson Classic will feature the first of many exciting contests at the Devaney Center this year," Executive Associate A.D. Marc Boehm said. "Being in a tournament sponsored by one of the top coaches of all time is a great way to open the season."
Following a matchup with Southeast Missouri State on Nov. 27, the Huskers start a tough stretch when they face 2005 postseason teams in three of their next four contests. Marquette, which advanced to the NIT last year, faces the Huskers in Lincoln on Nov. 30, before UAB makes the trek to the Devaney Center on Dec. 3. UAB has won at least one NCAA Tournament game each of the past two seasons, including reaching the 2004 Sweet 16.
After playing host to South Dakota State on Dec. 8 at the Devaney Center, the Huskers hit the road for the first time when they take on Creighton at the Qwest Center Omaha on Dec. 11. Contests against Chicago State (Dec. 17), North Carolina A&T (Dec. 19) and Alabama A&M (Dec. 21) round out the pre-Christmas schedule.
The Huskers will not leave the state until a New Year's Eve matchup against Atlantic Coast Conference foe Florida State in the Metro PCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic. The game, which will be played at the Home Depot Center in Miami, is part of a double-header that will also feature 2004 Final Four participant Louisville against Miami. The Huskers and Seminoles have never met before on the hardwood. Nebraska is 1-2 against ACC teams all-time, with the last meeting in 1997 when the Huskers earned an 80-65 win over Virginia. A Jan. 3 tipoff against Northern Colorado will end the non-conference slate.
During the league schedule, the Huskers will face eight Big 12 schools at the Devaney Center, including five teams that made postseason appearances last year. The Huskers open league play at home for the second straight season when they take on defending Big 12 champion Oklahoma on Jan. 7. Iowa State (Jan. 18), Missouri (Jan. 28), Baylor (Feb. 4), Kansas (Feb. 8), Texas Tech (Feb. 18), Colorado (Feb. 22) and Kansas State (March 1) will also make the trek to Lincoln.
Nebraska's toughest stretch of the season will begin at the end of January, when the Huskers take on five teams that made the 2005 NCAA Tournament in a six-game span. NU opens the tough stretch at Oklahoma State (Jan. 31) and also makes road trips to Texas (Feb. 11) and Iowa State (Feb. 15) between home contests against Kansas and Texas Tech.