UMass Releases Non-Conference Basketball Schedule For 2007-08
Aug. 2, 2007
AMHERST, Mass. - Coming off the program¹s best year since the 1996 Final Four season, the University of Massachusetts has released its preliminary non-conference schedule and conference opponents for 2007-08. Under Head Coach Travis Ford, the defending co-Atlantic 10 regular-season champs will once again play a challenging non-conference schedule. The Minutemen come off a 24-9 campaign, in which they won their first postseason game since 1996, a thrilling 89-87 overtime win over Alabama in the NIT.
³From top to bottom, this is one of the toughest schedules we have faced,² said Ford, who enters his third year at UMass. ³It will be very challenging for our team, as we have some very big shoes to fill with the departure of NBA draft pick Stephane Lasme and Rashaun Freeman. But, I am excited about our incoming team and all of the tests we will face. In addition to the tough non-conference schedule, we will battle the A-10¹s best including powers Rhode Island, Saint Joseph¹s and Saint Louis twice.²
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The Minutemen will take on 12 teams that participated in postseason play over the last two years including eight playoff teams from a season ago. Those teams which UMass will play in 2007-08 include: Boston College, Central Connecticut State, George Washington, Marist, Syracuse, Toledo, Vanderbilt, and Xavier.
³We are taking on teams such as Vanderbilt, which went to the Sweet 16, in addition to Boston College and Xavier which played in the second round,² said Ford, who is in his 11th year overall as a head coach. ³We feel this will be an exciting schedule for our players and our fans.²
With six newcomers on the roster, UMass opens its 2007-08 season playing in the BTI Tip-Off Tournament in Cedar Falls, Iowa, hosted by 2006 NCAA participant Northern Iowa. The Minutemen will open with Cal Poly on Nov. 9, followed by a game against Northern Illinois on Nov. 10, and wrapping up against the host Panthers on Nov. 11. UMass has never played any of the three teams in basketball.
The Minutemen will host its first home games on Nov. 14 against Yale and Nov. 17 vs. Wisconsin-Green Bay at the Mullins Center. It will be the first-ever meeting with the Phoenix, as it begins a home-and-home series.
After 11 days off, UMass begins a stretch of four games away from the Mullins Center. On Nov. 28, UMass travels to Syracuse for its first game with the Orange since 1995, when the No. 1 Minutemen beat OeCuse in the Rainbow Classic, 65-47. Following that game, UMass travels to Indianapolis to play IUPUI on Dec. 1, which played in the 2003 NCAA Tournament. The Jaguars will return with a visit to Amherst in 2008-09.
The Minutemen return to the Mohegan Sun Arena for the fifth time in the last seven years as they will take on 2007 NIT participant Marist on Dec. 8. UMass continues its rivalry with in-state foe Boston College on Dec. 12. For the 13th season in a row, the Minutemen will face BC, as UMass faces alum Al Skinner and his Eagles at Conte Forum.
After that road stretch, UMass hosts three games in a row on three consecutive Saturdays. The Minutemen will host Toledo on Dec. 15, Central Connecticut State on Dec. 22 and Boston University on Dec. 29.
The non-conference slate wraps up with a trip to Nashville, Tennessee, which will pit the Minutemen against Vanderbilt, a 2007 NCAA Sweet 16 team. That game is the start of a home-and-home series with the Commodores returning the Mullins Center in 2008-09.
It is possible an additional non-conference game could be added at a later date and all game dates are subject to change. Times and television will be released when they become available.
The Atlantic 10 portion of the schedule with dates will be released later this summer. The Minutemen will take on Rhode Island, Saint Joseph¹s and Saint Louis twice in 2007-08 as part of the Atlantic 10¹s new scheduling format. UMass will take on the following conference teams at the Mullins Center: Charlotte, Fordham, La Salle, Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure, Saint Joseph¹s, Saint Louis and Xavier. On the road, UMass will play at Dayton, Duquesne, George Washington, Rhode Island, Richmond, Saint Joseph¹s, Saint Louis and Temple.
The 2008 Atlantic 10 Basketball Championships will be held at the Boardwalk Arena in Atlantic City for the second year in a row, beginning on March 12 and running through March 15.
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