UCLA's 2005-06 men's basketball schedule, released on Monday, features eight teams that advanced to postseason play last season (NCAA/NIT) and the Bruins will also participate in the Preseason NIT and Wooden Classic.
A standout nonconference opponent is West Virginia, coming to Pauley Pavilion on Saturday, Jan. 21. The Mountaineers, from the Big East Conference, in last season's NCAA advanced to the Albuquerque Regional final, losing to Final Four participant Louisville, 93-85 (OT). It will be the third meeting between the two schools (the series is tied at 1-1/on Dec. 21, 1968 in Pauley Pavilion, No. 1 ranked UCLA beat WVU 95-56 and on Dec. 29, 1959 in the Los Angeles Basketball Classic in The Sports Arena, the No. 2 ranked Mountaineers, behind 30 points and 16 rebounds from Jerry West, defeated UCLA 87-73).
Preseason NIT History
For the first time since 1996 and for the fourth time in school history (2005-1996-1992-1987), the Bruins will play in the Preseason NIT. The first game (Tuesday, Nov. 15 in Pauley Pavilion), will be against Sun Belt Conference member New Mexico State, under new head coach and NBA and UNLV great Reggie Theus. If UCLA wins its first round home contest, a quarterfinal game will be held Thursday, Nov. 17 (site to be determined) and should the Bruins win both games – the Preseason NIT semifinals (Wednesday, Nov. 23) and championship/third-place games (Friday, Nov. 25) will be held at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
In UCLA's preseason NIT history, the Bruins - in 1996, lost in the first round to Tulsa in Pauley Pavilion (77-76,OT); in 1992, lost a semifinal game to Seton Hall 73-64 and defeated Florida State 86-83 for third place and in 1987, lost a second round contest at New Mexico 77-66.
Wooden Classic History
UCLA will be making its ninth appearance, third consecutive, in the Wooden Classic, held at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim. On Saturday, Dec. 10, UCLA will play Western Athletic Conference member Nevada (the Wooden Classic double-header will also feature Washington vs. New Mexico). In the series history, UCLA leads it 3-0 (the last time the teams met, UCLA defeated the Wolf Pack 51-38 on Dec. 12, 1947). The Bruins have a 5-3 overall record in the Wooden Classic.
2005-06 UCLA Schedule
In all, UCLA, a 2005 NCAA participant (losing in the first round to Texas Tech-the Bruins were 18-11 overall last season and 11-7 in Pac-10 play, tied for 3rd-place), will face eight teams that in 2004-05 advanced to postseason play. Six teams from last season's NCAA Tournament – nonconference foes Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Delaware State (Saturday, Nov. 19 in Pauley Pavilion), Nevada and West Virginia, along with Pac-10 opponents – Washington, Arizona and Stanford. Also in 2005, conference opponents Oregon State and Arizona State participated in the postseason NIT.
The Bruins will open the season with two exhibition games in early November in Pauley Pavilion – Friday, Nov. 4 (vs. a team to be determined) and Thursday, Nov. 10 vs. Cal State Monterey Bay - then open the regular season with the home Preseason NIT first-round contest vs. New Mexico State.
For the fourth consecutive season, the Bruins will once again face Big 10 foe Michigan – playing in Ann Arbor on Dec. 17. On Dec. 18, 2004 in Pauley Pavilion, when UCLA retired Gail Goodrich's No. 25 jersey number, the Bruins defeated Michigan 81-79; on Dec. 27, 2003 in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines beat UCLA 70-66 and on Dec. 28, 2002 in Pauley Pavilion, Michigan defeated UCLA 81-76. UCLA leads the series 8-3.
UCLA opens 2006 Pac-10 play in Pauley Pavilion vs. the Bay Area schools – Thursday, Dec. 29 vs. Stanford and Saturday, Dec. 31 vs. California. The 2006 Pac-10 Tournament will once again be held at The Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles (March 9-11).
"This is a highly competitive schedule – featuring eight teams that advanced to postseason play last season," said Bruin head coach Ben Howland. "West Virginia will be an excellent home-and-home series for us and it will be one of the nation's outstanding nonconference matchups, pitting the Pac-10 against the Big East.
"The Preseason NIT is always one of the nation's top early season tournaments, with the chance to play in historic Madison Square Garden," he said. "And it's always and honor and privilege for UCLA to play in Coach Wooden's game at the Pond in Anaheim.
"The Pac-10 is always one of the nation's top conferences," Howland said, "and 2006 will once again feature a highly-competitive league schedule, with 18 grueling conference contests, plus the Pac-10 Tournament."
UCLA's 2004-05 schedule was recently rated No. 12 in the U. S. by Basketball Times, the highest rated Pac-10 schedule – ahead of No. 16 Washington State, No. 21 Arizona, No. 24 USC, and No. 25 Oregon (five Pac-10 schools were listed among the nation's Top 30).
Tentative 2005-06 UCLA Men's Basketball Schedule
DATE OPPONENT TV TIME
Fri., Nov. 4 Exhibition (TBD with Basketball Travelers)
Thurs., Nov. 10 Cal State Monterey Bay (Exhibition)
Tue., Nov. 15 New Mexico State (Pre-Season NIT First Round)
Thurs., Nov. 17 Pre-Season NIT Second Round
Sat., Nov. 19 Delaware State
Wed., Nov. 23 Pre-Season NIT Semi-Final @ New York
Fri., Nov. 25 Pre-Season NIT Final @ New York
Tues., Nov. 29 Albany
Sun., Dec. 4 Coppin State
Sat., Dec. 10 Nevada @ Wooden Classic
Dec. 12-16 Final Exams
Sat., Dec. 17 at Michigan
Wed., Dec. 21 Wagner
Fri., Dec. 23 Sacramento State
Thurs., Dec. 29 Stanford
Sat., Dec. 31 California
Thurs., Jan. 5 @ Arizona
Sat., Jan. 7 @ Arizona State
Thurs., Jan. 12 Washington
Sat., Jan. 14 Washington State
Thurs., Jan. 19 USC
Sat., Jan. 21 West Virginia
Thurs., Jan. 26 @ Oregon
Sat., Jan. 28 @ Oregon State
Thurs., Feb. 2 Arizona State
Sat., Feb. 4 Arizona
Thurs., Feb. 9 @ Washington State
Sat., Feb. 11 @ Washington
Sat., Feb. 18 @ USC
Thurs., Feb. 23 Oregon State
Sat., Feb. 25 Oregon
Thurs., Mar. 2 @ California
Sat., Mar. 4 @ Stanford
Mar. 9 - Mar. 11 Pac-10 Tournament @ Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Mar. 16 - Mar. 19 NCAA First and Second Round
Mar. 23 - Mar. 26 NCAA Regional
Apr. 1 - Apr. 3 NCAA Final Four
All times Pacific.
All games broadcast on XTRA Sports 570 and the Bruin Network.