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ATLANTA-Travelling to Duke and hosting three games in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic highlight Georgia State's 2012-13 non-conference men's basketball schedule announced Wednesday by head coach Ron Hunter.
The Panthers will face four teams that won 20 or more games a year ago and three that advanced to the NCAA Tournament, including the first two games of the year.
Georgia State will open the season facing one of the most historic programs in the country, the Duke Blue Devils on Nov. 9 in Durham, N.C. Duke is coming off a 27-7 season and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The game will air live on ESPNU at 7 p.m. from Cameron Indoor Stadium.
State will stay on the road and follow the opener with a trip to Provo, Utah to face BYU on Nov. 13, opening the 2012 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic on the road. It will mark the Panthers second straight season traveling to the state of Utah. BYU finished the 2011-12 season 26-9 and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
GSU will return home for three straight nights, hosting Monmouth, Tennessee State and South Alabama, Nov. 19-21 to conclude the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. The GSU Sports Arena will host two games each date with game times to be determined.
Tennessee State, led by first-year head coach Travis Williams, a Georgia State basketball alum, went 20-13 last season and advanced to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.
"I really wanted to test our team early," commented second-year head coach Ron Hunter. "Obviously playing Duke to open the season will be a challenge, but I wanted to test our team early.
"When the opportunity came along to play in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic I knew we had to take it. BYU annually has some of the best crowds in the country and we will expect a great atmosphere for that game. To then be able to play three very good programs in our arena should be special for our fans right before the holiday break."
The Panthers five-game home-stand will continue with East Carolina on Nov. 26 and Louisiana Tech on Nov. 30. GSU travelled to Louisiana Tech two years ago as part of the SEARS Bracketbusters.
Following a road game at Liberty on Dec. 2, Georgia State will return home to face Southern Poly on Dec. 8.
Georgia State will travel to face future Sun Belt Conference foe Troy on Dec. 15 and then take on Southern Miss back in the Sports Arena on Dec. 18. Southern Miss finished last season 25-9 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, just falling to Kansas State in its opening game.
Hunter's squad will close out the non-conference portion of the schedule with road games at Rhode Island on Dec. 22 and in-state rival Georgia Southern on Dec. 29.
The season begins with a pair of exhibition games as the Panthers will host Life on Oct. 29 and Albany State on Nov. 4.
The Colonial Athletic Association schedule of 18 games is expected to be announced at some time in mid-to-late September.