MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – The defending Mid-American Conference Tournament champion Central Michigan women’s basketball program will once again face some of the toughest competition in the country this upcoming season.
Coming off their first conference tournament championship and NCAA Tournament appearance since 1984, the Chippewas will face eight teams that appeared in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, as well as an additional six teams that played in the WNIT.
“Our schedule last year prepared us for the MAC, prepared us for the MAC Tournament and prepared us for Oklahoma,” head coach Sue Guevara said. “This year’s schedule will do the exact same thing, but we want to go further because want it all again.”
The Chippewas’ non-conference schedule features opponents that held a combined record of 245-118 last season, with 10 of the 12 contests coming against postseason teams. The schedule will be highlighted with trips to No. 7/7 Kentucky (Nov. 17), No. 2/2 Notre Dame (Dec. 22), No. 21/21 Purdue (Dec. 28) and No 18/15 Dayton (Dec. 30).
For the second-straight season, CMU will play a non-conference home-and-home series, as it will host Dayton on Thursday, Dec. 5 in its home opener.
The Maroon and Gold will also travel to the Virgin Islands Nov. 28-30 for the Paradise Jam where it will play three games in three days versus No. 5/5 Duke, Kansas and Xavier.
CMU’s remaining non-conference games will come at UMass (Nov. 10), at Marquette (Nov. 21), at NCAA qualifier South Dakota State (Dec. 15) and home versus NCAA qualifier Prairie View A&M (Dec. 18).
“I’m not sure anyone in the MAC is going to throw anything at us that we haven’t seen before,” Guevara added. “I’m not going to put together a schedule like this if I don’t think we have the players to compete, the players that will look at it and not be intimidated. We want the challenge because we know what it did for us last year and what it will do to help us accomplish our goals this year.”
The non-conference schedule should once again prove important for the tough MAC season with two additional conference games added to the 2013-14 schedules.
The Chippewas will open the conference campaign with a home contest versus defending regular season champions Toledo (Jan. 4) before traveling to Akron (Jan. 9) for their first matchup versus the Zips since last season’s conference tournament championship game.
CMU’s home conference schedule also includes contests versus Northern Illinois (Jan. 15), Bowling Green (Jan. 18), Eastern Michigan (Jan. 30), Ohio (Feb. 2), Buffalo (Feb. 9), Miami (Feb. 15), Ball State (Feb. 27) and Western Michigan (March 5).
* - Paradise Jam, Virgin Islands