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August 10, 2012

SEC basketball schedule released

The inaugural 18-game, 14-team SEC schedule has been released by the conference office, and the Commodores will see familiar SEC-East foes Kentucky, South Carolina, and Tennessee twice on their schedule, and be featured on national television five times in 2013.

With the addition of Texas A&M and Missouri to the SEC, the conference decided to expand to an 18-game schedule at the SEC Meetings in Destin in May, while also altering the format of the schedule. Vanderbilt will play each of the 13 teams once, their constant home and away opponent Tennessee twice, and Kentucky, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Auburn twice in home-and-home series. Other than Tennessee, the home-and-home opponents will rotate every season.

"The conference schedule will certainly have a new look, and every time you look at the conference schedule, you say to yourself, 'Wow, that is hard,'" said Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings. "But, that's why the league is as good as it is because it's a difficult league. It will be interesting to take on this new format and see what the challenges are within it.

"But, we have a very difficult schedule from top to bottom," continued Stallings. "It will challenge everything about our team and I hope I haven't overscheduled them, because we are going to be very inexperienced. But, I know that our guys will be excited about the challenges our schedule will present."

The 2012 SEC Tournament Champion Commodores face off against national champion Kentucky in a rematch of the SEC Tournament championship in both teams' opening conference game on Thursday, January 10 (ESPN/ESPN2, 8 p.m.). Vanderbilt returns the trip to Lexington later in the season on Wednesday, February 20 (SEC Network, 7 p.m.).

Following the Wildcats in the opener, Vanderbilt travels to Arkansas on Saturday, January 12 (FSN, 5 p.m.), and then returns home to face Ole Miss on Tuesday, January 15 (ESPNU, 8 p.m.), in their first and only Thursday-Saturday-Tuesday turnaround in league play.

Three of the next four games will be on the road for the Commodores, starting with a trip to South Carolina on Saturday, January 19 (SEC Network, 12:30 p.m.). VU returns home to take on Auburn on Wednesday, January 23 (ESPN3, 7 p.m.), then travels to Missouri for its first matchup with the Tigers as SEC members on Saturday, January 26 (ESPNU, 4 p.m.), and then travels east on I-40 to take on Tennessee in Knoxville on Tuesday, January 29 (ESPNU, 6 p.m.).

Four of the next five Commodore games are at home in the friendly confines of Memorial Gym, which enters its 61st season as the home of the Commodores. Alabama comes to Memorial Gym on Saturday, February 2 (SEC Network, 3 p.m.), and then after a trip to Baton Rouge to take on LSU on Wednesday, February 6 (ESPN3, TBA), Vanderbilt faces Arkansas on Saturday, February 9 (SEC Network, 12:30 p.m.), Tennessee on Wednesday, February 13 (SEC Network, 7 p.m.), and new SEC member Texas A&M on Saturday, February 16 (FSN, 5:30 p.m.).

After the homestand, the Commodores close out the regular season with four of its last six games on the road. The aforementioned trip to Lexington is set for Wednesday, February 20, which is followed by a trip to Starkville, Miss., to play Mississippi State on Saturday, February 23 (SEC Network, 12:30 p.m.). Georgia comes to Memorial Gym for a game on Wednesday, February 27 (FSN, 8 p.m.), and then the Commodores head back out on the road for games at Auburn on Saturday, March 2 (ESPN2, 8 p.m.), and at Florida on Wednesday, March 6 (SEC Network, 7 p.m.).

The regular season ends in Memorial Gym on Saturday, March 9, against South Carolina (SEC Network, 12:30 p.m.), with the Commodores staying in Nashville for the 2013 SEC Tournament, which will take place at the Bridgestone Arena.

Details of the Commodores' two exhibition games are still to be determined and will be released later.

2012-2013 Vanderbilt men's basketball schedule

Sat., Nov. 10 Nicholls State
Fri., Nov. 16 at Oregon

2012 Old Spice Classic
Thurs., Nov. 22 Davidson Orlando, Fla., 1 p.m. (ESPN2)
Fri., Nov. 23 West Virginia/Marist Orlando, Fla., 11:30 a.m./2 p.m. (ESPN/ESPNU)
Sun., Nov. 25 TBA Orlando, Fla. TBA (ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU)

Sat., Dec. 1 Villanova, 4 p.m. (ESPN2)
Thurs., Dec. 6 at Xavier
Sat., Dec. 15 Alabama A&M
Mon., Dec. 17 Cornell
Fri., Dec. 21 MTSU (at the Bridgestone Arena)
Sat., Dec. 29 Butler

Wed., Jan. 2 William & Mary, 7 p.m. TBA
Thurs., Jan. 10 Kentucky, 8 p.m. ESPN/ESPN2
Sat., Jan. 12 at Arkansas, 5 p.m. (FSN)
Tues., Jan. 15 Ole Miss* 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
Sat., Jan. 19 at South Carolina, 12:30 p.m. (SEC Network)
Wed., Jan. 23 Auburn, 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
Sat., Jan. 26 at Missouri, 4 p.m. (ESPNU)
Tues., Jan. 29 at Tennessee, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)

Sat., Feb. 2 Alabama, 3 p.m. (SEC Network)
Wed., Feb. 6 at LSU (ESPN3)
Sat., Feb. 9 Arkansas, 12:30 p.m. (SEC Network)
Wed., Feb. 13 Tennessee, 7 p.m. (SEC Network)
Sat., Feb. 16 Texas A&M, 5:30 p.m. (FSN)
Wed., Feb. 20 at Kentucky, 7 p.m. (SEC Network)
Sat., Feb. 23 at Mississippi State, 12:30 p.m. (SEC Network)
Wed., Feb. 27 Georgia, 8 p.m. (FSN)

Sat., Mar. 2 at Auburn, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Wed., Mar. 6 at Florida, 7 p.m. (SEC Network)
Sat., Mar. 9 South Carolina, 12:30 p.m. (SEC Network)

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