Saint Louis University Billikens
ST. LOUIS — The Saint Louis University Billikens have announced their 2014-15 men’s basketball schedule and it includes home nonconference games with Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
For the first time, the Billikens will play an 18-game Atlantic 10 Conference slate, two more than in years past. SLU plays 13 games against opponents that reached the postseason last year. Of the other A-10 teams that reached the NCAA Tournament last year, four of them visit Chaifetz Arena.
“This schedule is going to test our young team,” SLU head coach Jim Crews said. “We have a mix of tough nonconference games on the road and at home, and that is going to help us prepare for another challenging season in the A-10. Our fans have been tremendous at making Chaifetz Arena a great home-court advantage, and we hope for the same this year.”
Coinciding with the release of the schedule was the announcement of the televised games that are part of the A-10 package. SLU has 14 games slated for television, including six on CBS Sports Network, four on NBC Sports Network and one on ESPN2.
Last season, Saint Louis captured the Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season title and posted a 27-7 overall record. SLU is one of 10 programs nationally that has advanced to the third round in each of the last three NCAA Tournaments.
Following an exhibition game against Harris-Stowe at Chaifetz Arena Tuesday, Nov. 4, the Billikens open the season Saturday, Nov. 15, in a home game against SIUC. SLU then heads to Indiana State, which advanced to the NIT a season ago, for a return game against the Sycamores on Tuesday, Nov. 18.
SIUE travels to SLU for a game on Saturday, Dec. 13. The Billikens have defeated the Cougars the past two seasons, including last year at the Vadalabene Center.
The Billikens also entertain CIT participant Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Sunday, Nov. 23) and North Carolina A&T (Tuesday, Nov. 25) at Chaifetz Arena as part of the Corpus Christi Coastal Classic. The Billikens travel to Corpus Christi, Texas, Thanksgiving week to face Mississippi State (Friday, Nov. 28) and either TCU or Bradley on Saturday, Nov. 29. The games in Corpus Christi will be played at American Bank Center.
Saint Louis returns to Chaifetz Arena on Tuesday, Dec. 2, for a meeting against fellow Jesuit institution Rockhurst. The Billikens then go to Wichita, Kan., Saturday, Dec. 6, to face Wichita State in a rematch of last year’s thriller at Chaifetz Arena. The Shockers advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament a season ago and posted a 35-1 record.
The Billikens play their next six games at home, including the one with the Cougars. SLU begins its 10th season in the A-10 Saturday, Jan. 3, against Rhode Island at Chaifetz Arena. The Billikens’ first conference road trip takes them to Washington, D.C., for a meeting against NCAA Tournament participant George Washington (Tuesday, Jan. 6) and Davidson, N.C., for a matchup versus A-10 newcomer and NIT squad Davidson (Saturday, Jan. 10).
Following a home game against Duquesne on Wednesday, Jan. 14, the Billikens begin a grueling stretch where they will face NCAA Tournament teams in six of their next nine games. SLU heads to Dayton Saturday, Jan. 17, then welcomes VCU Friday, Jan. 23, in a game that will be televised on ESPN2 from Chaifetz Arena.
Massachusetts and defending A-10 champion Saint Joseph’s come to town for back-to-back home games on Saturday, Jan. 31, and Tuesday, Feb. 3, respectively. SLU welcomes Dayton to Chaifetz Arena Tuesday, Feb. 10, and travels to VCU Tuesday, Feb. 17.
Additional A-10 games at Chaifetz Arena are: La Salle (Sunday, Feb. 22), George Mason (Saturday, Feb. 28) and St. Bonaventure (Wednesday, March 4).
The Billikens also travel to George Mason (Thursday, Jan. 29), Fordham (Saturday, Feb. 7), Rhode Island (Saturday, Feb. 14), Duquesne (Wednesday, Feb. 25) and Richmond (Saturday, March 7).
All 14 conference teams will advance to the 2014 Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Championship at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. There are two first-round games Wednesday, March 11. Second-round games will be played Thursday, March 12, with the quarterfinals scheduled for Friday, March 13. The semifinals are slated for Saturday, March 14, and the final will be played on NCAA Selection Sunday, March 15, on CBS.