ROME — A little more than three months removed from the opening tip of the 2012-13 season, dates have been finalized for Tennessee basketball's non-conference slate.
The complete schedule, including SEC games, is expected to be released Friday.
Following an exhibition with Victory University on Nov. 5, the Vols will open year two of the Cuonzo Martin era at Thompson-Boling Arena on Nov. 9 against Kennesaw State. The Owls are coming off a 3-28 season and will carry an 18-game losing streak into the game.
The meeting with Kennesaw State will serve as a warm-up for UT's trip south for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Nov. 15-18. The three-game tournament opens with a matchup against UNC-Asheville (24-10) followed by a date against either Akron (22-12) or Oklahoma State (15-18). The Vols will also face either N.C. State (24-13), Penn State (12-20), Massachusetts (25-12) or Providence (15-17).
Tennessee hosts Oakland (20-16) on Nov. 26 before a two-game road swing to Georgetown (24-9) on Nov. 30 and Virginia (22-10) on Dec. 5. The trip to Georgetown comes as part of the SEC/Big East Challenge.
Non-conference play ends with a five-game homestand that keeps the Vols in Knoxville for most of December.
Wichita State (27-6) comes to Thompson-Boling on Dec. 13, followed by Presbyterian (14-15) and Western Carolina (17-18) on Dec. 21.
Xavier (23-13) arrives in Knoxville on Dec. 29 just before the calendar flips to 2013.
Tennessee's final non-conference tilt will bring rival Memphis (26-9) to town. The Tigers hung a pair of losses on the Vols last season – a 99-97 nail-biter at the Maui Invitational and a 69-51 drubbing at FedEx Forum.
Five teams on the out-of-conference schedule – Xavier, Wichita State, Virginia, Georgetown and UNC-Asheville – all appeared in the 2012 NCAA tournament. N.C. State, ranked No. 6 in the ESPN.com preseason poll, is the lone team in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off to make a tournament appearance.
The Vols went 7-7 outside the SEC last season before finishing the year 19-15 thanks to a 10-6 run in league play.The full 2012-13 non-conference schedule:
Nov. 5 vs. Victory University (exhibition)
Nov. 9 vs. Kennesaw State
Nov. 15 vs. UNC-Asheville (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
Nov. 16 vs. Akron/Oklahoma State (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
Nov. 18 vs. TBD (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
Nov. 26 vs. Oakland
Nov. 30 at Georgetown (SEC/Big East Challenge)
Dec. 5 at Virginia
Dec. 13 vs. Wichita State
Dec. 18 vs. Presbyterian
Dec. 21 vs. Western Carolina
Dec. 29 vs. Xavier
Jan 4 vs. MemphisBrendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/BFQuinn