Basketball Teams Release 2003-04 Schedules
Sept. 22, 2003
AMHERST, Mass - University of Massachusetts basketball coaches Steve Lappas and Marnie Dacko have each released their 2003-04 schedules this afternoon. The men will face at least 10 teams who played in last year's NCAA Tournament or National Invitation Tournament (NIT), while the women will play at least four games against teams who played in the 2002-03 postseason.
Lappas' Minutemen open the regular season by hosting St. Francis (N.Y.) in the first round of the preseason NIT on Nov. 18. The winner will then play the winner of the Texas Tech/Davidson game on Nov. 21 in a game which will be televised on ESPN. Massachusetts then returns home to face regional foes Hartford (Nov. 24) and Vermont (Dec. 2). UVM was a NCAA Tournament team last year. The semifinals and championship rounds of the preseason NIT will be Nov. 26 and Nov. 28 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Georgia State, Utah and Missouri-Kansas City join UMass, St. Francis (N.Y.), Davidson and Texas Tech in the top half of the bracket. Louisiana-Lafayette, Georgia Tech, Hofstra, Marist, Vermont, Nevada, Yale and Connecticut are on the bottom half.
The Minutemen hit the road for the first time on Dec. 6 for a game at Boston College, a 2002-03 NIT team. After a game against Central Connecticut State on Dec. 9 at the Mohegan Sun Arena, Massachusetts returns to the Mullins Center for three games against Marshall (Dec. 20), Maine (Dec. 23) and Albany (Dec. 28). The Minutewmen close out the year with a game against Connecticut at the Hartford Civic Center on Dec. 30. The Huskies advanced to the Sweet Sixteen last year. The Minutemen open the New Year on Jan. 3 by hosting Tennessee in a game which will be televised nationally on ESPN. The Volunteers were in the NIT last year. UMass will also play a non-conference game against Rider on Feb. 3 at the Sovereign Bank Arena.
Conference play begins on Jan. 7 when the Minutemen host La Salle. UMass will host Temple on Jan. 24 in a game televised nationally on ESPN2 and is slated to make four appearances on the A-10 Television Network (Jan. 18 at Duquesne, Feb. 8 vs. Dayton, Feb. 14 at Xavier and March 6 at Richmond). Saint Joseph's, Dayton and Xavier each advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year while Rhode Island, Temple and Richmond participated in the NIT.
Dacko's Minutewomen open the season on the road at Sacred Heart on Nov. 21. They will host Holy Cross in their home opener on Nov. 23. After a game at Syracuse Nov. 25, the Minutewomen will participate in the CocaCola Classic, Nov. 29-30, at the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Conn. UMass will play host-school Fairfield in the first round and then either Brown or Delaware on the second day. UMass returns home for a game against Vermont, Dec. 3, before heading West to compete in the Arizona Basketball Classic, Dec. 6-7. The Minutewomen will take on Utah State in the first round and then either host-school Arizona or American in the second day. Arizona was a 2002-03 NCAA Tournament participant. Massachusetts will then return to the East for a pair of regional road games. They will face Northeastern on Dec. 14 and Hartford on Dec. 21. The final non-conference game will be against UNC-Greensboro on Dec. 30 at the Mullins Center.
The Minutewomen will open up the New Year as well as the conference slate in the City of Brotherly Love with games versus La Salle (Jan. 3) and Saint Joseph's (Jan. 6). The Hawks competed in last year's Women's NIT. The conference home opener will be Jan. 9 against Temple. The Minutewomen are currently scheduled to make their only television appearance of the season when they host Fordham Feb. 1 on the A-10 Television Network. The Minutewomen will face 2002-03 NCAA Tournament participants Xavier (Jan. 23) and George Washington (Feb. 26), both at home, and will also visit Richmond (Feb. 22), a participant in the 2002-03 WNIT.
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