HUNTINGTON – While the Marshall Thundering Herd has some “t’s” to cross, and some “i’s” to dot before releasing a full schedule for Tom Herrion’s men’s basketball league, the Herd already knows who and when it will open eighth season of hoops in Conference USA for 2012-13.
"Once again we will face great challenges throughout the C-USA schedule,” said Herrion. “The depth and balance within the conference will be terrific and we are looking forward to competing against some outstanding programs and some of the best coached teams in the nation.
“I am confident that our tremendous fan base will once again show their great support throughout the home portion of our C-USA schedule, the Herd Nation is incredible."
While there will be some last meetings in C-USA with four schools this year, and six new league opponents for 2013-14, Marshall will open league play in 2013 in the Cam Henderson Center on Wednesday, Jan. 9 home meeting against the Golden Hurricane of the University of Tulsa to begin 16-games of C-USA action
The game is a rematch of last season's 3OT win by Marshall in Memphis, Tenn. in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA Tournament at FedEx Forum.
The Thundering Herd won a thrilling 105-100 game, behind 40 points by then sophomore guard DeAndre Kane.
Three days later, Marshall will look for its first-ever win at UTEP in El Paso, Texas, site of the 2014 Conference USA Tournament.
The Herd beat the Miners, and also beat the other three Texas schools (Houston, Rice and SMU) in the league in the same season, for the first time in conference play last season.
UTEP has the second-best record against Marshall of any team currently staying after this season in C-USA, going 7-2 against the Herd all-time.
Other meetings against the western schools of C-USA are Jan. 30 against SMU (who the Herd is 8-0 all-time against), Feb. 6 at Tulane in New Orleans, La., Feb. 13 against the Owls of Rice and March 2 for a final league games at the Cougars of Houston in Houston, Tex.
Marshall will play East Carolina at Henderson Center on Jan. 19 and make the trip to Greenville, N.C. to wrap up conference play on March 9.
The Herd makes the first of two back-to-back conference road trips on Jan. 23 at Southern Miss in Hattiesburg, Miss.
Just like last season, the Golden Eagles will be the opponent on Marshall's Senior Day held on March 6.
The Herd won its final home game last season 79-75, then beat USM in the C-USA Tournament semi-finals to make the finals against league champion Memphis for the first time since entering the league in 2005-06 for basketball.
Marshall plays at Memphis on Jan. 26 in the FedEx Forum, located on Beale Street in the home of the Blues.
The Tigers make their last trip to Huntington as members of C-USA on Feb. 16 before joining the Big East Conference for the 2013-14 season, along with Houston, UCF and SMU.
UCF, on probation with the NCAA and ineligible for post-season play this season, will make its final trip to the Cam Henderson Center on Feb. 2.
Marshall returning to the land of the “House of Mouse” in Orlando, Fla. for a Feb. 20 meeting.
The Herd travels to UAB in Birmingham, Ala. on Feb. 9, three days after traveling to New Orleans, La., and then hosts the Blazers on Feb. 23 in Huntington.
The 2013 Conference USA Championships will be hosted by Tulsa at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. on March 13-16.
Last season, Marshall finished with an overall record of 21-14 (9-7 in C-USA).
The Herd won four of its final six games of the regular season and carried that momentum into the C-USA Championships where Marshall made its first championship game appearance and also became the first No. 6 seed to do so.
The Herd ended the year with postseason play as it made its first appearance in the NIT in 24 years (since 1988), falling at Middle Tennessee State.
The Herd is looking to find its way back into the NCAA Tournament this season, with Marshall’s last of five all-time trips to the “Big Dance” coming in 1987-1985-1984-1972-1956.
Other basketball games already released by other opponents include a game against a Big East opponent the Herd beat in the Queen City of the Ohio River last year, on Thurs., Nov. 15, playing Cincinnati in the Charleston Civic Center, inCharleston, W.Va.
On Wed., Nov. 28, the Herd renews its long-time “I-64 Rivalary” with the Eagles of Morehead State, then also will host the UNC Wilmington Seahawks on Sat., Dec. 1.
Due to the Mountaineers joining the Big XII this season, the annual “Chesapeake Energy Capital Classic” will be on Wed., Dec. 5 against West Virginia in Charleston, with the women’s game on Tuesday, Dec. 4, also at the Civic Center.
On Sat., Dec. 22, Marshall travels to Rupp Arena to face current National Champions. the Kentucky Wildcats, for the first time in nearly a decade.
Then comes meeting with two former Mid-American Conference foes on the road.
Marshall heads to Akron on Sat., Dec. 29, then faces long time rival Ohio University on Sat., Jan. 5, in Athens.
Marshall may also get home dates with New Mexico State and three other schools in a non-exempt tournament where four games count as just two against the NCAA limit, a tournament the Herd has participated in every season for five years.
Here is the confirmed Conference USA Schedule:
Wed., Jan. 9 Tulsa
Sat., Jan. 12 at UTEP
Sat., Jan. 19 East Carolina
Wed., Jan. 23 at Southern Miss
Sat., Jan. 26 at Memphis
Wed., Jan. 30 SMU
Sat., Feb. 2 UCF
Wed., Feb. 6 at Tulane
Sat., Feb. 9 at UAB
Wed., Feb. 13 Rice
Sat., Feb. 16 Memphis
Wed., Feb. 20 at UCF
Sat., Feb. 23 UAB
Sat., March 2 at Houston
Wed., March 6 Southern Miss
Sat., March 9 at East Carolina
Marshall All-Time Records vs. C-USA Schools:
UAB - UAB leads 11-6
UCF - MU leads 8-6
East Carolina - MU leads 12-6
Houston - Houston leads 5-4
Memphis - Memphis leads 11-2
Rice - MU leads 6-2
Southern Miss - MU leads 8-6
SMU - MU leads 8-0
Tulane - MU leads 8-5
Tulsa - Tulsa leads 8-5
UTEP - UTEP leads 7-2
Overall: MU leads 56-54 (seven seasons)