Cal men’s basketball releases 2019-20 nonconference schedule

Lorenzo dela Cruz/Staff

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Cal men’s basketball unveiled its 2019-20 nonconference schedule, a 13-game slate that will feature trips to Madison Square Garden and the brand-new Chase Center as well as meetings with several tantalizing opponents.

“I’m pleased we can announce early enough for our fans to plan and we’re looking forward to debuting a squad full of young talent to a supportive and reenergized fanbase,” said head coach Mark Fox in a press release. “The goal of a non-conference schedule is to prepare you for Pac-12 play, and this schedule does that. We have lots of work to do to get ready for the season.”

After traveling to the Barclays Center for the Legends Classic last season, the Bears will once again head to the East Coast, this time flying to Madison Square Garden to play the latter two games of the four-game Empire Classic. At the mecca of basketball, Cal will be accompanied by Duke, Texas and Georgetown and play two of those three teams.

Before flying to New York, Cal will host Cal Baptist and Oral Roberts in its first two games of the Empire Classic.

While hundreds of college teams have already graced the courts of Madison Square Garden, Cal will be among the first collegiate teams to play at the Chase Center as one of eight teams participating in the Al Attles Classic at the Golden State Warriors’ new home arena. The Bears will play Boston College on December 21.

Not every game that the Bears play during their nonconference slate will take place in such grand arenas, but there are still numerous intriguing matchups.

Cal will begin the season by hosting Pepperdine, assistant coach Marty Wilson’s alma mater. Prior to coming to Berkeley, Wilson spent 21 total seasons in Malibu as both a player and coach.

There will be more familiar foes on the docket for Cal, as it will play San Francisco, Santa Clara, Fresno State and Saint Mary’s, teams that it met last season. This time around, the Bears will travel to the Dons’ and Broncos’ respective home arenas and host the Bulldogs and Gaels.

Cal will also have the opportunity to play a fellow UC school when UC Davis comes to town in late November. The last time Cal played a UC school besides UCLA was in 2017, when it hosted UC Riverside in a 74-66 loss for the Bears.

In the ultimate battle of elite public versus private schools, Cal will host Harvard in its last nonconference game. The last time these academic titans met was in 2012 at Haas Pavilion, when the Crimson bested the Bears, 67-62.

Justice delos Santos is the assistant sports editor. Contact Justice delos Santos at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @justdelossantos.