Bucknell schedule set

There is no official release yet ... that won't come until all the contracts are signed and returned. But Bucknell has finally completed its 2005-2006 schedule.

New names on the slate include games Nov. 22 at Northeastern and Dec. 3 at DePaul, two teams that made the NIT field last season, and a Jan. 2 date at perennial national contender Duke.

The ambitious schedule also includes home games with Villanova (Dec. 6) and Saint Joseph's (Dec. 21).

The Bison will also become the first Patriot League team ever to play in ESPN's Bracket Buster Saturday on February 18. That game, against a to-be-determined mid-major foe, will be on the road.

While many will heap praise on the Bison for the tough non-conference schedule, assistant coach Nathan Davis said it was as much due to necessity as desire. It has never been easy for Bucknell to fill its schedule, and last year's success, coupled with the return of all but one player from that team, made it even tougher this year.

"It's going to be difficult, but what are you going to do," Davis said. "You have to play somebody."

The "you have to play somebody" part also explains the return of Division III Haverford to the Bison's schedule. Davis said Bucknell did not want to play a DIII, but they needed a home game and could not get any Division I teams to come to Lewisburg.

The Bison have just five non-conference home dates, including Haverford. The remaining eight non-conference games are away from Sjoka Pavilion.

Bucknell Bison (Tentative) 2005-2006 schedule:
Nov. 18 - @ Rider
Nov. 22 @ Northeastern
Nov. 26 - YALE
Nov. 30 - @ Niagra
Dec. 3 - @ DePaul
Dec. 17 - CORNELL
Dec. 19 - HAVERFORD (D3)
Dec. 21 - ST. JOSEPH'S
Dec. 28 - Cable Car Classic at San Francisco, CA - Bucknell vs. Boston University
Dec. 29th - Bucknell vs. Santa Clara/UC Riverside
Jan. 2 - @ Duke
Jan. 7 - @ Navy
Jan. 11 - @ American
Jan. 15 - HOLY CROSS (TV)
Jan. 21 - COLGATE
Jan. 25 - @ Lehigh
Jan. 28 - NAVY
Feb. 1 - @ Army
Feb. 4 - @ Colgate
Feb. 11 - @ Holy Cross
Feb. 16 - @ Lafayette (TV)
Feb. 18 - ESPN Bracket Buster (location TBA)
Feb. 22 - LEHIGH
Feb. 25 - ARMY
Mar. 3 - PL Tournament
Mar. 5 - PL Tournament
Mar. 10 - PL Tournament

For more on the Bison, check out Tom Housenick's column in today's Daily Item.

Also, Colgate has posted a tentative schedule on its Web site.

Let's just say the Raiders are not going to do wonders for the league's RPI.

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