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Tough Opponents and NIT Highlight 2001-02 Arka

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Tough Opponents and NIT Highlight 2001-02 Arka

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The preseason National Invitation Tournament, 10 games against teams reaching last year’s NCAA Tournament, 16 home games, dates with all four major programs in Oklahoma, a return to Little Rock and 10 games with teams advancing to last year’s TiVo NIT highlight Arkansas’ 2001-2002 basketball schedule.
The Razorbacks, who return four starters and 11 lettermen from last year’s 20-11 club which earned an NCAA bid for the 13th time in 14 years, get underway on Nov. 12 when Maine visits Bud Walton Arena in the first round of the preseason NIT.
In addition to the Southeastern Conference slate, which includes home games against Florida, South Carolina and Vanderbilt and 13 games against teams advancing to the NCAA or NIT, the Hogs face Oklahoma (Nov. 30) and Oral Roberts (Nov. 18) in Fayetteville and Oklahoma State (Dec. 22) in North Little Rock. On the road, Arkansas faces Illinois in Chicago (Dec. 8) and plays at Tulsa (Nov. 28) and Memphis (Jan. 2).
Other non-conference opponents, all traveling to Fayetteville, are North Carolina-Greensboro (Dec. 10), Tennessee-Chattanooga (Dec. 20), Southwest Texas State (Dec. 4) and Elon (Dec. 29).
“I always wanted to play all four Oklahoma schools,” head coach Nolan Richardson says. “That’s a lot of good basketball within 200 miles of each other, so we might as well play. I also like to play a Big Ten or Big East school if it works out and this year it worked out with Illinois. The SEC schedule is tough enough, but with our non-conference schedule, we feel this is one of the top 10 toughest schedules in the country.”
UNC-Greensboro and Chattanooga met in the Southern Conference Tournament finals last year with Greensboro gaining the NCAA bid. SWT is coached by Dennis Nutt, the brother of UA football coach Houston Nutt.
Arkansas’ SEC opener is Jan. 5 at Auburn. The home opener is Tuesday, Jan. 8, against Mississippi State in a game televised by ESPN.
The 10 games against NCAA Tournament teams are Oklahoma, at Illinois, UNC-Greensboro, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss (twice), at Georgia, Florida, at Tennessee and at Kentucky. The NIT opponents include three of last year’s final four participants, including the champion (Tulsa) the runner-up (Alabama, twice) and Memphis. Other NIT participants are Auburn (twice), Mississippi State (twice) and South Carolina.
If the Razorbacks defeat Maine, they face the Wake Forest–North Carolina-Wilmington winner in the second round of the preseason NIT at a date and site to be determined. WFU played in the NCAA Tournament last year while Wilmington played in the NIT.
The SEC Tournament is March 7-10 in Atlanta and the first round of the NCAA Tournament begins March 14.
Television schedules and game times will be announced at a later date.





DateDayOpponentSiteTimeTV
Oct. 26Fri.Red-White GameFayetteville, Ark.8 p.m.
Nov. 6Tue.EA Sports (Exh.)Fayetteville, Ark.7 p.m.
Nov. 9Fri.Team Ezybonds(Exh.)Fayetteville, Ark.8 p.m.
Nov. 12Mon.# MaineFayetteville, Ark.TBA
Nov. 16^Fri.vs. # Wake Forest or UNC-WilmingtonTBATBA
Nov. 18Sun.Oral RobertsFayetteville, Ark.1:05 p.m.ARSN
Nov. 21^Wed.# NIT SemifinalsNew York CityTBA
Nov. 23^Fri.# NIT FinalsNew York CityTBA
Nov. 28Wed.at TulsaTulsa, Okla.7:05 p.m.ARSN
Nov. 30Fri.OklahomaFayetteville, Ark.7 p.m.ESPN2
Dec. 4Tue.Southwest Texas StateFayetteville, Ark.7:05 p.m.ARSN
Dec. 8Sat.at Illinois%Chicago, Ill.11 a.m.ESPN
Dec. 10Mon.North Carolina-GreensboroFayetteville, Ark.7 p.m.
Dec. 20Thu. Tennessee-ChattanoogaFayetteville, Ark.7:05 p.m.ARSN
Dec. 22Sat.Oklahoma State&North Little Rock, Ark.12:35 p.m.ARSN
Dec. 29Sat.ElonFayetteville, Ark.2:05 p.m.ARSN
Jan. 2Wed.at MemphisMemphis, Tenn.8:30 p.m.ESPN2
Jan. 5Sat.at Auburn*Auburn, Ala.4 p.m.SEC-TV
Jan. 8Tue.Mississippi State*Fayetteville, Ark.8 p.m.ESPN
Jan. 13Sun.at LSU*Baton Rouge, La.12:30/3 p.m.JP
Jan. 16Wed.South Carolina*Fayetteville, Ark.7 p.m.
Jan. 19Sat.Ole Miss*Fayetteville, Ark.5 p.m.SEC-TV
Jan. 23Wed.at Georgia*Athens, Ga.6:30 p.m.
Jan. 26Sat.Florida*Fayetteville, Ark.NoonCBS
Jan. 30Wed.at Alabama*Tuscaloosa, Ala.7 p.m.
Feb. 2Sat.Auburn*Fayetteville, Ark.NoonJP
Feb. 9Sat.at Ole Miss*Oxford, Miss.NoonJP
Feb. 13Wed.at Tennessee*Knoxville, Tenn.7 p.m.JP
Feb. 16Sat.LSU*Fayetteville, Ark.2 p.m.
Feb. 20Wed.Alabama*Fayetteville, Ark.7 p.m.JP
Feb. 23Sat.at Kentucky*Lexington, Ky.11 a.m.CBS
Feb. 27Wed.at Mississippi State*Starkville, Miss.7 p.m.JP
March 2Sat.Vanderbilt*Fayetteville, Ark.2:05 p.m.
March 7-10Thu.-Sun.SEC TournamentAtlanta, Ga.
NCAA Regionals1st & 2nd Rounds
March 14-16Thu.-Sat.South RegionalGreenville, S.C.
Thu.-Sat.South RegionalSt. Louis, Mo.
Thu.-Sat.West RegionalAlbuquerque, N.M.
Thu.-Sat.West RegionalSacramento, Calif.
March 15-17Fri.-Sun.East RegionalPittsburgh, Pa.
Fri.-Sun.East RegionalWashington, D.C.
Fri.-Sun.Midwest RegionalChicago, Ill.
Fri.-Sun.Midwest RegionalDallas, Texas
NCAA Regionals
March 21-23Thu.-Sat.South RegionalLexington, Ky.
Thu.-Sat.West RegionalSan Jose, Calif.
March 22-24Fri.-Sun.East RegionalSyracuse, N.Y.
Fri.-Sun.Midwest RegionalMadison, Wis.
NCAA Final Four
March 30-April 1Sat.-Mon.NCAA Final FourAtlanta, Ga.

* Southeastern Conference games
# Pre-season NIT
^ Possible games if UA advances
% at United Center
& at Alltel Arena
& JP Jefferson Pilot Sports
(Game times subject to change)



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