2005-06 Hoops Schedule Nearly Complete

As spring turns to summer, Cardinalmaniacs are anxious to see the schedule for the coming year of basketball. The Pac-10 lineup is set, and most of the non-conference slate is done. However, a pair of headliner matchups are currently in question. For a sneak peek at the 2005-06 schedule, insight into negotiations still underway, plus some scoop on future opponents, read on.

All dates are subject to change

Nov. 5 Sonoma State Stanford, Calif. Exhibition
Nov. 12 TBD Stanford, Calif. Exhibition
Nov. 19 UC-Irvine Stanford, Calif. Est. noon tip-off
Nov. 23 USF Stanford, Calif. Possible double-header w/ Stanford women
Nov. 26 Colorado Classic Denver, Colo. Cancelled (see notes)
Nov. 28 Cal. Poly S.L.O. Stanford, Calif.  
Dec. 2 @ Montana Missoula, Mont.  
Dec. 4 @ UC-Davis Davis, Calif. Last game before dead week/finals break
Dec. 18 Denver Stanford, Calif.  
Dec. 21 Princeton Oakland, Calif. 9th annual Pete Newell Challenge
Dec. 29 @ UCLA Los Angeles, Calif. Pac-10 opener, UCLA on winter break
Dec. 31 @ USC Los Angeles, Calif.  
Jan. 5 Oregon State Stanford, Calif. Pac-10 home opener, students on campus
Jan. 7 Oregon Stanford, Calif.  
Jan. 14 @ Cal Berkeley, Calif.  
Jan. 19 @ Arizona Tucson, Ariz.  
Jan. 21 @ Arizona State Tempe, Ariz.  
Jan. 26 Washington State Stanford, Calif.  
Jan. 28 Washington Stanford, Calif.  
Feb. 2 @ Oregon Eugene, Ore.  
Feb. 4 @ Oregon State Corvallis, Ore.  
Feb. 11 Cal Stanford, Calif. Hopefully will move to Feb. 9 (see notes)
Feb. 16 Arizona State Stanford, Calif.  
Feb. 18 Arizona Stanford, Calif.  
Feb. 23 @ Washington Seattle, Wash.  
Feb. 25 @ Washington State Pullman, Wash.  
Mar. 2 USC Stanford, Calif.  
Mar. 4 UCLA Stanford, Calif. Senior Day at Maples Pavilion
Mar. 9 Pac-10 Tournament Los Angeles, Calif.  
Mar. 16 NCAA Tournament TBD Card shoot for 12th straight Big Dance

Notes:

While we expect most of these dates to be final, there could still be some movement this summer.  Pac-10 games, for example, can move from a Saturday to a Sunday with Fox Sports Net television considerations.  Look for a final schedule to be officially announced by Stanford in the late summer after the conference and network sort out their television schedule.

The second exhibition game is yet to be set, but some quick math will tell you that two more regular season games are still needed to fill out this 2005-06 schedule.  That remaining pair of games would have provided the marquee matchups of the non-conference schedule, however circumstances have conspired against both contests.  The first was the November 26 "Colorado Classic" four-team, two-game affair that was to be held in Denver at the Pepsi Center.  Stanford was slated to play none other than Alabama, who bounced the Cardinal in the 2004 NCAA Second Round and unceremoniously ended what had been an historic and dream season.  The Crimson tide also knocked Stanford out of the NCAAs in 1992, ending the Adam Keefe Era for the Cardinal.

Alabama is slated to play the Preseason NIT this fall, which could keep them in New York City as late as November 25, should they advance to the final game of the 16-team tournament.  Consequently, the Tide now have misgivings about playing in Denver on the 26th and two weeks ago pulled out of the event, leaving organizers and Stanford in a lurch.  At this time, it looks more likely than not that Stanford will not play in the Colorado Classic, which leaves a hole in the Cardinal's schedule.

The other bugaboo is found in February.  ESPN and Andy Katz last month pitched an idea to Stanford and Gonzaga to play a home-and-home series the next two seasons, with the first affair on February 11 in Spokane.  ESPN would televise the 2006 game and promise that their "College Gameday" show would be televised from the event.  It would be a boon to both programs and to the Pac-10 and WCC, for the lords of the East Coast Media Bias to come out West and showcase the two opponents.  The second game would be played in the 2006-07 season at Maples Pavilion.  Fox Sports Net considerations may or may not preclude ESPN from involvement in that day.

The home-and-home series would be exciting to see, especially for Stanford season ticket holders in '06-'07.  However, there is one hurdle yet to clear.  February 11 was originally scheduled to be the Stanford-Cal game at Maples Pavilion.  Both Cal and Stanford have an open schedule the week leading up to that Saturday, and the Cardinal have requested that the game move to Thursday February 9.  At this point, the Cardinal are hopeful for approval from Cal to make the move.

Normally, this type of request is something a conference opponent would accept.  There are currently no scheduling barriers for Cal earlier in the week, and both opponents would come into the game with the same four days of rest after their February 4 games up in the Beaver State.  The Pac-10 Conference would support the move because of the added exposure that the league would accrue from the Gonzaga series and ESPN coverage.

If the Gonzaga game falls through, Stanford will then have two regular season games they need to add to the schedule.  There are not many spaces before the Pac-10 schedule where those games could be slotted, especially with the team out of action from December 5-15 for dead week and final exams.  We could see a pair of consecutive dates employed for a "back to back" home games at Maples Pavilion, not unlike what Stanford hosted this year on December 23 & 24 with Dartmouth and Montana.

Most of the non-conference schedule this year finishes home-and-home contracts from last year's schedule.  One team you would thus expect to appear on the 2005-06 schedule is Santa Clara, who hosted and upset Stanford on November 28.  The Broncos' schedule this year is such that the return game to Maples Pavilion will probably be played in the 2006-07 season.

Stanford is playing in the 9th annual Pete Newell Challenge at the Arena in Oakland, which will be their eight straight appearance in the event.  The Cardinal have played in the preseason classic more than any other team, including Pete Newell's former team, Cal.  The Bears missed the event last year but return in 2005.

Looking ahead to 2006-07's 10th year of the Pete Newell Challenge, which will be highly celebrated milestone for the event and Hall of Fame coach, Stanford is scheduled to play Texas Tech and Bobby Knight.  "The General" and his Red Raiders will come to Oakland to join in the celebration for Newell, but they will also receive something in return in 2007-08.  To parallel their travel to the Bay Area for a "neutral" game in Stanford's backyard, Texas Tech will bring Stanford to the American Airlines Center in Dallas sometime in December 2007 as part of the Red Raider Christmas Classic.


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