UCLA faces a travel-heavy nonconference basketball schedule

UCLA’s basketball team will travel the country — and to China — as part of a nonconference schedule announced Friday.

The Bruins are set to open the season against Georgia Tech in Shanghai on Nov. 10 before playing their first home game Nov. 15 at Pauley Pavilion against Central Arkansas. UCLA is also to compete in the Hall of Fame Classic Nov. 20-21 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., as part of a four-team field that also includes Wisconsin, Creighton and Baylor.

UCLA is scheduled to play Michigan in Ann Arbor on Dec. 9 and Kentucky at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Dec. 23 as part of the CBS Sports Classic. The Bruins have gone 2-1 against the Wildcats over the last two seasons, most recently losing to them in an NCAA tournament regional semifinal.

“When we assemble our schedule each year, we’re trying to prepare our guys for the grind of Pac-12 play and, ultimately, for the NCAA Tournament,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said in a statement released by the school. “When you look at the teams we’re going to play, combined with the travel involved, we believe that this is a tough nonconference schedule.”

The Bruins’ schedule includes eight nonconference home games, including Cincinnati on Dec. 16 in a rematch of an NCAA tournament second-round game in March that UCLA won by 12 points.

ben.bolch@latimes.com

Twitter: @latbbolch

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