(Courtesy: NMSU Athletics)
LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - NM State head coach Jason Hooten announced the non-conference slate for the 2023-24 men’s basketball season on Tuesday afternoon.
The Aggies will host seven home games during the non-conference portion of the schedule while also traveling to college basketball blue-bloods Kentucky and Louisville.
In the first season of the Hooten era, the Aggies will face a loaded non-conference slate, beginning on the road.
The Aggies will open the season at Kentucky on November 6.
The two squads have only met once previously with the showdown coming in the 1999 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
NM State’s home opener will come on Tuesday, November 8 vs. Sul Ross before NM State plays back-to-back home contests against Western New Mexico (Nov. 14) and Northern Colorado (Nov. 18).
While NM State and Northern Colorado will meet in Las Cruces, the contest kicks off the Cancun Challenge for the Aggies.
Hooten’s squad will venture to Riviera Maya, Mexico to take on Fresno State and either James Madison or Southern Illinois at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya.
When the Aggies take on the Cancun Challenge, it will be NM State’s first regular season trip to Mexico since December 4, 1948 when the Aggies battled the Chihuahua All Stars.
Following the trip to Mexico, NM State will continue its road swing and take on Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center on Sunday, November 26.
The Aggies have previously battled the Cardinals five times, winning the February 7. 1974 meeting between the two programs in Las Cruces.
NM State and New Mexico will once again meet in the Battle of I-25 on two separate occasions.
The Aggies will make the trip north to Albuquerque on Saturday, Dec. 2 before the Lobos come to the City of Crosses on Friday, Dec. 15.
The pair of showdowns will be the first between the in-state rivals since 2021.
Just before an eight-day break for the holidays, the Aggies will travel to Tulsa, Okla. to battle the Golden Hurricane on Friday, Dec. 22.
The former Missouri Valley Conference foes will meet on the hardwood for the first time since Jan. 10, 2005 and will be the 37th all-time meeting between the two squads.
A pair of not-so-far-removed Western Athletic Conference rivalries will be renewed on Thursday, December 19 and Saturday, December 30. To kick off the two-game scheduling initiative between Conference USA and the WAC, NM State will travel to Stephen F. Austin to battle the Lumberjacks.
In two meeting during the 2022-23 slate, the squads split the meetings with the Aggies securing a victory in the Pan American Center.
On the eve of New Years Eve, NM State will host California Baptist to close out its non-conference slate.
2023-24 NM State Non-Conference Schedule
Monday, Nov. 6 at Kentucky
Wednesday, Nov. 8 vs. Sul Ross State (Home Opener)
Saturday, Nov. 11 at UC Irvine
Tuesday, Nov. 14 vs. Western New Mexico
Saturday, Nov. 18 vs. Northern Colorado
Tuesday, Nov. 21 vs. Fresno State (Cancun, Mexico)
Wednesday, Nov. 22 vs. James Madison/Southern Illinois (Cancun, Mexico)
Sunday, Nov. 26 at Louisville
Tuesday, Nov. 28 vs. University of the Southwest
Saturday, Dec. 2 at New Mexico
Tuesday, Dec. 12 vs. Northern New Mexico
Friday, Dec. 15 vs. New Mexico
Tuesday, Dec. 19 at Stephen F. Austin
Friday, Dec. 22 at Tulsa
Saturday, Dec. 30 vs. California Baptist