Auburn will play 14 games against 2008 postseason tournament teams, including home games against defending SEC Champion Tennessee, Florida, Vanderbilt, Arkansas and Mississippi State as its 2008-09 basketball schedule was released Monday. Other home games vs. Alabama, George Washington, Missouri State and Tulane as well as non-conference road games at NCAA West Regional finalist Xavier, Virginia and Dayton in the Chicago Invitational also highlight the schedule.
The Tigers have nine games against NCAA Tournament teams in Tennessee, Xavier, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State (twice), Arkansas (twice) and Georgia. The five games against NIT teams include Florida, Dayton, Ole Miss (twice) and Alabama State.
"We have some very good non-conference games, and we're going back to Xavier," said fifth-year Auburn head coach Jeff Lebo. "Xavier was probably one of the best teams we played all of last year. We're going to Chicago to play against Dayton who is very, very good and Northern Iowa who is also very good. We are also going to play at one of the ACC schools in Virginia.
"George Washington is coming to Auburn this year and that is a good game, and we play our season opener at home against an always tough Missouri State team. Tulane is also making a return trip to Auburn, and they beat us last year. We have a pretty good, challenging schedule."
An exhibition game vs. Morehouse is Nov. 7 before Auburn opens the season with a four-game homestand beginning with Missouri State Nov. 14, Mercer Nov. 19, George Washington Nov. 22 and Bethune-Cookman Nov. 25. The Mercer and Bethune-Cookman games are part of the Chicago Invitational that also has the Tigers playing a pair of games vs. Dayton Nov. 28 and Northern Iowa Nov. 29 in the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill., a suburb of Chicago.
The Tigers play at Xavier Dec. 3 in a game that features the return of senior point guard Quantez Robertson to his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. Auburn closes out pre-conference play with five of six games at home with the lone road game coming at Virginia in the two-year-old John Paul Jones Arena.
The home games in this span include Louisiana-Monroe Dec. 6, Tuskegee Dec. 17, Alabama State Dec. 22, Alabama A&M Dec. 29, Southeastern Louisiana Dec. 31 and Tulane Jan. 3 as the final tune-up before SEC play.
Auburn opens SEC play on the road Jan. 10 at South Carolina where the Tigers have won the past five games vs. the Gamecocks in Columbia, S.C. The Tigers play their SEC home opener against Florida Jan. 14 followed by playing host to Alabama Jan. 17.
The Tigers have a difficult two-game stretch on the road at Kentucky Jan. 21 and at Arkansas Jan. 24. A final non-conference home game vs. Texas-Pan American is on Jan. 27 prior to playing host to Vanderbilt Jan. 31 and at Ole Miss Feb. 4.
Auburn will then have a three-game SEC homestand vs. 2008 NCAA Tournament teams in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi State before playing four of its final six games on the road at Georgia Feb. 18, at LSU Feb. 21, vs. Ole Miss Feb. 25, at Mississippi State Feb. 28, at Alabama Mar. 3 and vs. LSU on Mar. 7 on Senior Day for a trio of Tigers in Korvotney Barber, Rasheem Barrett and Robertson.
The SEC Tournament is Mar. 12-15 in Tampa, Fla., at the St. Pete Times Forum, the site of Auburn's NCAA Tournament first and second round victories over Saint Joseph's and ACC Champion Wake Forest in 2003.
The Tigers return four starters, including Barber, who was leading the Tigers averaging 14.8 points and 7.3 rebounds and leading the nation shooting 72 percent from the field before he was broke his left hand Dec. 29 vs. Towson. Barrett (13.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg), Robertson (7.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.1 apg) and DeWayne Reed (8.9 ppg, 3.7 apg) join Barber while Lucas Hargrove (7.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg) started six games last season.
Tigers Unlimited, the fund-raising organization for the Auburn University Athletics Department, is currently accepting basketball ticket priority contributions for the upcoming season. A contribution to Tigers Unlimited will secure the best seating available at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum and allow you to enjoy all of the exciting home action.
Season tickets will go on sale Oct. 1 for the 19-game home portion of the schedule for $199. Single-game adult tickets are $10 for non-conference games and $15 for SEC games except for the Alabama game, which are $20.
Two mini-SEC ticket packages for $50 each will be available Oct. 1 with the Orange pack consisting of the Alabama, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Arkansas games and the Blue pack consisting of the Florida, Tennessee, Ole Miss and LSU games. Non-conference single-game tickets will go on sale Dec. 1 while the exhibition game is free.
Holiday Game student section seats for NON-STUDENTS are $5 each for the Tulane, Alabama State, Alabama A&M and Southeastern Louisiana games. The Family Fun Zone for upper sections 17-26 are $10 each and are available for all SEC home games except for the Alabama game. Fun Zone tickets consisting of 311 seats are sold on game day only at the box office. Group tickets of 20 or more tickets are available for $5 each for all games except for Alabama with a required advance purchase.
For more information, please call the Tigers Unlimited or Athletic Department ticket office at 1-800-AUB-1957 or visit www.auburntigers.com.
2008-09 AUBURN BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
(all times Central)
Nov. 7 Morehouse (exh.), 6 pm
Nov. 14 Missouri State, 7 pm
Nov. 19 (1) Mercer, 7 pm
Nov. 22 George Washington, 1 pm
Nov. 25 (1) Bethune-Cookman, 7 pm
Nov. 28 (2) Dayton, 5 pm
Nov. 29 (2) Northern Iowa, 4:30 pm
Dec. 3 at Xavier (CBSCS), 7 pm
Dec. 6 Louisiana-Monroe, 1 pm
Dec. 17 Tuskegee, 7 pm
Dec. 20 at Virginia (FSN), 3 pm
Dec. 22 Alabama State, 7 pm
Dec. 29 Alabama A&M, 7 pm
Dec. 31 Southeastern Louisiana, 3 pm
Jan. 3 Tulane (DH), 4:30 pm
Jan. 10 at South Carolina, TBA
Jan. 14 Florida (Raycom), 7 pm
Jan. 17 Alabama, 1 pm
Jan. 21 at Kentucky (Raycom), 8 pm
Jan. 24 at Arkansas (Raycom), Noon
Jan. 27 Texas-Pan American, 7 pm
Jan. 31 Vanderbilt, 1 pm
Feb. 4 at Ole Miss, 7 pm
Feb. 7 Tennessee (Raycom), Noon
Feb. 11 Arkansas, 7 pm
Feb. 14 Mississippi State (FSN), 4 pm
Feb. 18 at Georgia, 6:30 pm
Feb. 21 at LSU, 7 pm
Feb. 25 Ole Miss, 7 pm
Feb. 28 at Mississippi State (FSN), 5 pm
Mar. 3 at Alabama (ESPN), 8 pm
Mar. 7 LSU, TBA
Mar. 12-15 (3) SEC Tournament (Raycom/CBS), TBA
(1) Chicago Invitational (Auburn, AL)
(2) Chicago Invitational (Hoffman Estates, IL)
(3) Tampa, FL (St. Pete Times Forum)
* All Times Central
(DH) Doubleheader with the Auburn Women