FORMIDABLE SCHEDULE AWAITS UT MARTIN MEN'S BASKETBALL IN 2017-18
September 25, 2017
MARTIN, Tenn. – Five first-time opponents and seven matchups against teams coming off postseason appearances are featured in the University of Tennessee at Martin’s 2017-18 men’s basketball schedule, which was announced today.
The Skyhawks, coming off three straight postseason berths, will square off against 10 teams with winning records from last season – seven of whom tallied at least 20 victories. UT Martin will take on teams from 12 different conferences and has 14 home dates as part of its 31-game schedule.
Also included in this year’s schedule is an 18-game Ohio Valley Conference docket, as the league announced the change this summer to eliminate divisional play and replace the 16-game format used since 2011-12. As part of the 2017-18 schedule, the Skyhawks will take on every OVC program on a home-and-home basis with the exception of Belmont, Jacksonville State, Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech.
“We put together a very competitive out-of-conference schedule,” said second-year Skyhawk head coach Anthony Stewart. “Our goal was to properly get us prepared for our rigorous 18-game conference schedule. If you look throughout our schedule, you will see several quality teams from top to bottom.”
The Skyhawks unofficially begin their season on Monday, Nov. 6 as the team will hold an intersquad “Blue vs. Orange Game” at 7:30 p.m. at the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center.
For the second straight season, UT Martin will take part in a non-bracketed MTE (Multi-Team Event) – as the Skyhawks join Marshall, Illinois, North Carolina Central and Southern in the Global Sports Invitational.
UT Martin opens the year on Nov. 10 at Marshall, who is coming off a 20-win season and an appearance in the Conference-USA championship game. Two days later, the Skyhawks travel to Illinois for a matchup against a Fighting Illini squad that won 20 games and advanced to the NIT quarterfinals in 2016-17. That game will be aired live to a nationwide audience on ESPNU.
The home opener is set for Nov. 15 against North Carolina Central, who won its third Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship in the last four years on its way to an NCAA Tournament berth last season.
The Skyhawks step away from the Global Sports Invitational on Nov. 18 when they head to Akron, who won the Mid-American Conference regular season championship and made an appearance in the NIT in 2016-17. UT Martin then wraps up its participation in the Global Sports Invitational by traveling to Baton Rouge, La. for a showdown at Southern four days later.
A Nov. 26 home game against UMKC follows, as the Skyhawks will take on the Kangaroos for the fourth time in the last five seasons. A three-game road trip then starts three days later as UT Martin visits LSU out of the Southeastern Conference. The Skyhawks open the month of December by traveling across the state to take on Chattanooga for the first time since 1983 before playing Arkansas State for the 13th time in the last 14 seasons.
UT Martin plays host to Cincinnati Clermont, a United States Collegiate Athletic Association program, on Dec. 10 before hitting the road once again for a matchup at SEC member Mississippi State on Dec. 16.
A season-long four-game homestand follows, as the Skyhawks match up against NAIA member Blue Mountain College on Dec. 20. Nonconference play wraps up two days later with a home game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
OVC play starts on Dec. 28 with a home game against Tennessee State, followed by Belmont on Dec. 30. The 2018 calendar season begins with road contests at Austin Peay (Jan. 4) and Murray State (Jan. 6). UT Martin then hosts Eastern Kentucky on Jan. 11 and Morehead State on Jan. 13 to wind up a stretch where four of its first six conference games are at the Elam Center.
The Skyhawks are then on the road for four OVC games in a row, starting with a swing through the Land of Lincoln against Eastern Illinois (Jan. 18) and SIUE (Jan. 20). UT Martin follows with away matchups at Jacksonville State and Tennessee Tech on Jan. 25 and Jan. 27, respectively.
The month of February opens with back-to-back home games against Austin Peay (Feb. 1) and Murray State (Feb. 3). The Skyhawks go to Eastern Kentucky on Feb. 8 but return home for three straight games (Southeast Missouri on Feb. 10, SIUE on Feb. 15, Eastern Illinois on Feb. 17) before concluding the regular season on the road against Morehead State (Feb. 22) and Southeast Missouri (Feb. 24).
For the first time ever, the OVC Basketball Championship tournament will take place at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind. The four-day event is scheduled for Feb. 28 through March 3.