MT TO OPEN LEAGUE PLAY AT UAB DEC. 30
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Middle Tennessee’s 2017-18 men’s basketball schedule as now complete as the Conference USA office has released the league portion of each member school’s schedule Wednesday.
The Blue Raiders open up on the road with a Dec. 30 match-up at UAB before spending the next weekend in Florida taking on FIU on Jan. 4 and Florida Atlantic on Jan. 6.
“I think a lot of coaches will probably pick UAB first in our league,” Head Coach Kermit Davis said. “They’ve got some all-conference players returning and get Nick Norton back (from injury). We had an unbelievable game there last year where JaCorey (Williams) hit one with about three or four seconds to go, so it’s always a real difficult game for both teams but a great way to start conference play.”
MT will hold their league home opener on Jan. 11, facing off against LA Tech in a contest between the league’s top two teams from a season ago. Two days later, the Raiders host Southern Miss in the Murphy Center on Jan. 13.
On Jan. 18 the Blue Raiders will travel to Marshall before their first meeting of the year against rival WKU, which will take place in Bowling Green on Jan. 20.
“Playing five of the first seven on the road is going to be difficult, and for a stretch from December 2nd to January 6th is maybe the toughest stretch of basketball we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Davis added. “We’ve got nine out of 10 away from the Murphy Center and the only home game in that stretch is Ole Miss.”
Middle Tennessee men’s basketball will host all four Texas schools in Murfreesboro in 2018, beginning with UTSA on Jan. 25 and UTEP on Jan. 27.
A challenging road trip to Old Dominion (Feb. 1) and Charlotte (Feb. 3) is sandwiched between the two Texas series, which the Raiders will finish off by hosting Rice (Feb. 8) and North Texas (Feb. 10).
MT’s last road trip of the season begins at Southern Miss on Feb. 15 before traveling to LA Tech on Feb. 17. The home-and-home series with the Golden Eagles and Bulldogs is new for the Raiders in 2017-18, after previously facing FIU and Florida Atlantic home and away.
“For the first time we’re playing LA Tech and Southern Miss twice which I think will be really good teams in our league,” Davis said. “It’ll be good that our fans get a chance to see those teams at home.”
After a long week back from the road trip, Middle Tennessee begins a three-game homestand to finish the season with UAB on Saturday, Feb. 24.
The Blue Raiders then close out the season with rival WKU on March 1 and Marshall on March 3, both in the Murphy Center.
“We’ll have to do a lot of work to make these last three games very meaningful as far as the conference championship is concerned,” Davis said. “But what a great way to end college basketball. UAB, WKU and Marshall are all going to be right in the thick of the Conference USA race so it’s a really exciting way to end the season.”
The Conference USA Championship will have a new home in 2018, taking place in Frisco, Texas from March 7-10, hosted by The Ford Center at The Star.