The Boiling Point: Purdue released its non-conference basketball schedule on Thursday.
A nine-game home slate, a loaded early-season tournament in Puerto Rico and the inaugural Crossroads Classic headline the 2011-12 Purdue men’s basketball non-conference schedule, released on Thursday.
Of the known or potential opponents currently on the Boilermakers’ schedule, nine advanced to postseason play a year ago, including three NCAA Tournament participants, four NIT qualifiers and two CIT squads. Purdue’s known or potential opponents combined to post a .600 winning percentage in 2010-11, with five teams that won at least 25 games a year ago potentially on the slate.
“This is a challenging non-conference schedule that we feel will prepare us for the rigors of the Big Ten season and the postseason,” Purdue head coach Matt Painter said. “The Puerto Rico Tip-Off is always a first-class event with a great field, we face Butler in the Crossroads Classic and we travel to Xavier, so we’ll get great experience playing quality teams away from home. Our players are excited and ready to work hard this summer to prepare for the challenges that lie ahead.”
The Boilermakers will open the season on Nov. 11 when they host Northern Illinois in the first of two rededication games in conjunction with Mackey Celebration Weekend. The game will mark the official celebration of the three-year, $99.5 million renovation that represents the most comprehensive and significant facility undertaking in the University’s athletics history.
After hosting High Point on Nov. 14, the Boilermakers will travel to San Juan for their first-ever appearance in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
The field for the 2011 edition of the tournament consists of Alabama, Colorado, Iona, Maryland, Temple, Western Michigan and Wichita State, in addition to the Boilermakers. That group combined for a .687 winning percentage last season, while Purdue and Temple reached the NCAA Tournament, Wichita State defeated Alabama for the NIT title and Colorado reached the NIT semifinals.
Purdue will host Coppin State on Nov. 26 before welcoming Miami in the 13th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Nov. 29. The hosting assignment is the Boilers’ third Challenge home game in the last four years, and Purdue will look to pick up its third-straight Challenge win with a defeat of the Hurricanes.
The Boilermakers will visit five-time defending Atlantic 10 champion Xavier on Dec. 3 in the 14th all-time meeting between the teams. Purdue leads the overall series by a 9-4 count, and is 4-1 all-time on Xavier’s home floor. The teams last met in the round of 32 of the 2008 NCAA Tournament, when XU dealt the Boilers an 85-78 loss in Washington, D.C.
The Old Gold & Black will follow its trip to Cincinnati with home games against Western Carolina and Eastern Michigan on Dec. 7 and Dec. 10, respectively.
On Dec. 17, Purdue will meet NCAA runner-up Butler in the inaugural Crossroads Classic at Conseco Fieldhouse, with Indiana and Notre Dame set to square off in the other half of the doubleheader event. A coming together of the four most-storied college basketball programs in the state of Indiana, the Crossroads Classic is slated for at least 2011 and 2012 per a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the four schools’ athletic directors in August 2010.
Purdue is 37-16 against Butler in a series that dates to 1901, including a 12-matchup winning streak that spanned more than three decades and came to an end in 2001. The teams will meet for the first time since 2006, when the Bulldogs claimed a 68-65 victory over Purdue in Indianapolis.
The Boilers will conclude their 2010-11 non-conference slate on Dec. 20, when they play host to IPFW.
Prior to the start of the regular season, Purdue will play two exhibition games, facing Northern State on Nov. 1 and Southern Indiana on Nov. 6.
Times and television information, along with the 2011-12 Big Ten schedule, are expected in August.