Arkansas releases 2012-13 men's basketball schedule

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. ( – The 2012-13 University of Arkansas men's basketball schedule is complete and includes one of the toughest lineups in the nation.  At least 12 of Arkansas' opponents participated in post-season competition last season and the non-conference slate showcases opponents like Syracuse, Michigan, Arizona State and Oklahoma.

In addition to Arkansas' nine home Southeastern Conference contests, the Razorbacks will face Syracuse, Oklahoma and seven other opponents at Bud Walton Arena.  The non-conference schedule includes five games against teams from the best conferences in the nation, the most by any Arkansas team in the regular season since the 1994-95 season.

"This schedule is definitely a challenge and we will be tested as a team early and often," Arkansas Head Coach Mike Anderson said.  "It is important to have a tough non-conference schedule to prepare us for the SEC."

Currently, 19 of Arkansas' 31 games have been picked up by national and regional television with several others expected to be added prior to the season opener.  Of the 19 games, 10 are on the ESPN family of networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU), five on the SEC Network, two on Comcast Sports, one on CBS and one on Fox Sports Net.

Arkansas opens the season on Friday, Nov. 9, when they host Sam Houston State at Bud Walton Arena.  The Razorbacks then get a week off from competition before playing the first game of the Las Vegas Invitational on Sunday, Nov. 18, against Longwood University in Fayetteville.  Game two of the Las Vegas set brings Florida A&M to Arkansas on Tuesday, Nov. 20, before the Razorbacks go on the road to Las Vegas, Nev., for two games at Orleans Arena.  As previously announced, Arkansas will take on Arizona State on Friday, Nov. 23, and play either Wisconsin or Creighton on Saturday, Nov. 24.  Both of Arkansas' potential Saturday opponents were NCAA Tournament participants last season.

Action returns to Bud Walton Arena on Friday, Nov. 30, when Arkansas' string of high-major opponents continues with Syracuse as a part of the SEC/Big East Challenge, a game set for ESPN at 7:30 p.m.  Arkansas hosts Oklahoma on Tuesday, Dec. 4, before ending the tough stretch with Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Saturday, Dec. 8.  The Razorbacks' string of five consecutive high-major opponents in non-conference action is the first time that any Arkansas squad has tackled that challenge.

The non-conference schedule continues with five games in Arkansas to close December and begin the New Year.  Alcorn State ventures to Fayetteville on Saturday, Dec. 15, followed by Robert Morris on Thursday, Dec. 20.  The Razorbacks will play Alabama A&M on Saturday, Dec. 22, at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock, Ark.  A week break for the holidays concludes when Arkansas hosts Northwestern State at Bud Walton Arena on Saturday, Dec. 29, with the final non-conference game coming against Delaware State on Saturday, Jan. 5.

The Razorbacks also have two exhibition games scheduled for Friday, Nov. 2, against Southwest Baptist and Monday, Nov. 5, against LeMoyne-Owen.