A 14-game home schedule which includes a farewell game against a longtime Atlantic 10 Conference rival highlights the basketball schedule for Derek Kellogg’s University of Massachusetts team.
The Minutemen will play what is right now a 29-game schedule. The team has been looking for a 30th game.
Thirteen of the home games will be played on campus at the Mullins Center. A 14th home game against Elon is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 15 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. That final home game could be played at the Curry Hicks Cage on campus.
It is a schedule that promises to test the Minutemen. Two of the teams, Virginia Commonwealth and Butler, have been to the NCAA Division I Final Four in this decade.
"No matter how it played out, we knew we were going to have a tough schedule, just from being in the Atlantic 10," said Kellogg in a statement, "which is one of the premier conferences in the nation."
The Minutemen will open their season on Tuesday, Nov. 13, when they host Harvard at 10 a.m. as part of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. After that, it’s off to the Puerto Rico Tip-Off that starts two days later. UMass will play Providence in the first game of the eight-team tournament. If everything falls a certain way, Kellogg’s Minutemen could play former UMass coach Travis Ford’s Oklahoma State Cowboys on Nov. 18.
UMass won’t return home until Dec. 1, when it hosts Miami (Fla.) at the Mullins Center. The game prior to the Miami visit will see the Minutemen travel to Albany to play Siena at the Times Union Center on Wednes day, Nov. 28.
It will be hail and farewell to Temple, when the Owls visit the Mullins Center on Saturday, Feb. 16, for the final time as an A-10 rival. Temple’ is leaving for the Big East.
There are two new teams in the Atlantic 10 this year, and UMass will go home-and-home with them. The Minutemen travel to Richmond, Va., for a game at Virginia Commonwealth on Thursday, Feb. 14. The other new team in the conference, Butler, visits Am herst on Thursday, March 7.
With UMass now playing football n the MAC, the Minutemen are required to play four conference teams in basketball. UMass will host Ohio University and Eastern Michigan, while the Minutemen will travel to Northern Illinois and Miami (Ohio).
Six UMass games will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network, while two games will be aired nationally on ESPN. In addition to the Harvard game, UMass’ home tilt with Saint Joseph’s on Saturday, Feb. 9, will be an ESPN game.