Going back to Cali..to Cali..to Cali

Iowa State’s non-conference men’s basketball schedule got even more challenging Monday with the announcment that the Cyclones will play at the University of California-Berkeley in the third annual Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.

ISU is 2-0 all-time in the series, beating Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore., two seasons ago and at Hilton Coliseum last year.  Texas is the only other Big 12 team with a perfect mark.

Cal comes to Ames during the 2010-11 season for the return game.

The Golden Bears were an NCAA Tournament team last year, going 22-11 overall and 11-7 in league games. They fell to Maryland 84-71 in an opening-round game at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Iowa State’s backcourt will have its hands full with Cal guards Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher, each of whom were first-team all-Pac-10 picks.

It’s going to be difficult non-league slate with home games against Iowa, Northern Iowa,  Hawaii, Houston and Bradley, road dates at Cal and Drake and a four-team tournament outside Chicago involving BCS partners Notre Dame and Northwestern.

Coach Greg McDermott will have his most competitive team yet and will be anxious to put his guys to the test. These games likely will be resume builders for the postseason, somewhere ISU hasn’t been since Wayne Morgan’s second team went to the round of 32 in 2005.

Here’s the full Big 12/Pac-10 series schedule: 

Nov. 29
Nebraska at USC

Dec. 3
Washington at Texas Tech

USC at Texas

Baylor at Arizona State

Dec. 4
Colorado at Oregon State

Dec. 5
Oregon at Missouri

Iowa State at California

Washington State at Kansas State

Dec. 6
Kansas at UCLA

Arizona at Oklahoma

Dec. 16
Oklahoma State at Stanford

Dec. 22
Texas A&M at Washington

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