Sept. 9, 2007
NEW ORLEANS - The 2007-08 Tulane Green Wave men's basketball schedule features four 2007 postseason teams, 16 home games, including marquee matchups against preseason top-ranked Memphis and Southeastern Conference members Auburn and LSU, and trips to Hawaii and New York. These games highlight the season schedule announced today by TU head men's basketball coach Dave Dickerson.
Tulane will face one NCAA Tournament (Memphis) and three postseason National Invitation Tournament (NIT) squads (Georgia, East Tennessee State, and Syracuse). Memphis advanced to the NCAA Tournament "Elite Eight" a year ago and is expected to be the top-ranked team in many preseason polls. The Green Wave will face either Georgia or East Tennessee State in the second round of the 2007 Rainbow Classic this December.
"Our schedule accomplishes our original goal two years ago when I took over which was to play a national schedule in hopes of improving our program from year-to-year," Dickerson said. "We are very excited about this year's schedule. Most importantly, with this schedule we will need support from our student body and fans to have success this season because it is very challenging."
Tulane opens the season at home against Southeastern Conference member Auburn on Nov. 9. As a former member of the SEC, the Green Wave and the Tigers have met 59 times since the inaugural game between the two schools in 1906. The last time the teams met was at Auburn in 1996 during the first round of the postseason NIT, which the Wave won in overtime, 87-73. However, the Tigers have not visited Fogelman Arena since 1966.
Tulane hosts the first of three in-state schools on Nov. 16 when Nicholls State comes to New Orleans for the first time since 2003. In 15 games, the Green Wave has never lost to the Colonels.
TU remains home to face cross-town rival New Orleans on Nov. 24 at Fogelman Arena. Although Tulane leads the series with the Privateers, 22-20, the two teams split last season's series.
The Green Wave invades the Empire State to face Buffalo and Syracuse. Tulane closes out the month of November at Buffalo on Nov. 29 and opens the month of December with a match-up at Syracuse on Dec. 1. The Orangemen posted a 24-11 record last season and fell to Clemson in the quarterfinals of the postseason NIT. The game will mark the first meeting between the schools.
TU opens a three-game home stand on Dec. 5 against Huston-Tillotson and will remain at home for contests against Gardner-Webb (Dec. 8) and Indiana State (Dec. 17.).
In mid-December, Tulane returns to the Hawaiian Islands for the first time since the 1997-98 campaign when the Green Wave participated in the PowerBar Invitational. The Wave will open the Rainbow Classic on the island of Oahu against St. Mary's (Calif.) in a first time meeting on Dec. 20. Tulane will face either Georgia or East Tennessee State the following day on Dec. 21. TU concludes its trip to paradise with a game on Dec. 22. The eight-team field includes East Tennessee State, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana-Lafayette, Ohio, St. Mary's, St. John's and Tulane.
The Green Wave returns to Fogelman in late December to host Alabama State on Dec. 28. Tulane then closes out the non-conference portion of its schedule against its third in-state rival when LSU comes to town doe the 208th meeting between the two schools on Jan. 2. For the second straight year, the Tulane-LSU game will be played at New Orleans Arena.
"This year's non-conference schedule could be the toughest this program has faced in the last 10 years. We need to play a schedule like this and be successful in order to make a run for postseason play and prepare our team for the much-improved Conference USA," Dickerson said.
Last season, Tulane hit a last-second shot on the road to wrap up a fourth-place finish in C-USA play and a first-round bye in the conference tournament. The opponent that day was UAB. Fittingly, the Green Wave opens the 2008 conference schedule at home against the Blazers on Jan. 9. The two teams split last year's series.
TU hits the road for a pair of games in mid-January at Southern Miss (Jan. 12) and at Tulsa (Jan. 16). The Wave swept the series with the Golden Eagles last year for the first time since 2002. Tulane fell to Tulsa at home on a last second shot, but avenged the loss by knocking the Golden Hurricane out of the Conference USA Tournament.
TU hosts Rice at home on Jan. 19 and SMU on Jan. 23. The Green Wave and the Owls split last year's series, while the Mustangs topped Tulane in Dallas in the lone meeting of the year.
Tulane closes the month of January at East Carolina and will look to extend its five-game win streak in the series when the teams meet on Jan. 26.
Following an open week, Tulane heads to Rice on Feb. 2 and onto UTEP on Feb. 6. Tulane downed the Miners a year ago at home for its first win in the series.
Tulane takes on Houston (Feb. 9) and treks to Marshall on Feb. 16. The Green Wave dropped its lone game with the Cougars last season and split the series with the Thundering Herd.
The much anticipated match-up with Memphis takes place at Fogelman Arena on Feb. 20, and the Wave will look to post its first win in the series since 2000. The Tigers have won the last two conference titles.
The Wave closes out the month of February at home against Southern Miss on Feb. 23 and at UCF on Feb. 27. TU knocked off the eventual second-place Golden Knights last season at Fogelman Arena.
Tulane has three games during the month of March, including a road game at UAB (Mar. 1), and a pair of home contests against Marshall (Mar. 5) and East Carolina (Mar. 8) to close out the regular season.
"Our conference schedule is something we obviously care about the most. Memphis should be the No. 1 team in many preseason polls and there are four to five teams that have a lot of players returning, including us, which should compete for the conference title. There will not be any easy games this season, and that's the commitment our coaches, administrators and the conference office have undertaken to make this league better," Dickerson said.
For the third straight season, the Conference USA Men's Basketball Tournament will be held at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn., March 12-15, 2008.
Fans can catch an early glimpse of the Green Wave in action when Tulane hosts nearby neighbor, Loyola (La.), in an exhibition game on Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m.