The Cal Poly men’s basketball schedule includes games against two Pac-12 Conference teams and 11 opponents that qualified for the postseason last year, according to a news release sent out by the school Thursday afternoon.
The Mustangs, who return three starters, will make their first appearance at the Maui Invitational opening and regional rounds. That four-game slate includes a trip to Pauley Pavilion to play the 11-time national champion UCLA Bruins on Nov. 15. Cal Poly also plays at USC Dec. 17.
Other key nonconference games include the season opener at UNLV on Nov. 13, a Dec. 5 home game against Fresno State, and a trip to Saint Mary’s on Dec. 13.
Nearly half of the Mustangs’ 29 games will be played against teams that won more than 20 games last season.
“A schedule such as the one we’ve put together helps with our competitiveness and our recruiting,” seventh-year head coach Joe Callero said in the release. “It helps to play against a lot of different teams with different styles.”
For the second straight season, Cal Poly begins Big West Conference play with a trip to Hawaii on Jan. 6. The Warriors reached the conference tournament final last season and lost to UC Irvine.
This year’s Big West conference tournament will be held March 10 at Honda Center in Anaheim.
The Cal Poly women’s basketball team also released its schedule Thursday.
Pursuing its eighth consecutive winning season, the Mustangs will play 13 home games with 14 players returning from last year’s team that finished 15-14 overall and 10-6 against Big West opponents.
Cal Poly has a particularly difficult three-game road stretch in mid-December with games at Saint Mary’s on Dec. 17, CSU Bakersfield on Dec. 19 and Oregon State on Dec. 21.
The Gaels reached the WNIT quarterfinals last season, and the Roadrunners, also a WNIT qualifier, have won 22 consecutive games at home. The Beavers won their first Pac-12 regular-season title in school history last fall and return four starters from that team.
“Every year, the competition gets tougher and tougher, both in conference and nonconference,” head coach Faith Mimnaugh said. “While it is challenging, we know that we can only get better by playing the best.”
Cal Poly is scheduled to open Big West competition Jan. 7 at UC Santa Barbara. The conference home opener will be Jan. 16 against Cal State Fullerton.