MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team will face five opponents for the first time in program history and eight 20-win teams from last season, as fifth-year head coach Jason James announced the 2013-14 schedule this afternoon.
The Skyhawks will once again take part in the Global Sports Challenge, which will feature four games in 2013-14. As a result, UT Martin will travel out to Wyoming (20-14 last season) for the season-opener on Nov. 8, followed by a matchup at Pac 12 member Colorado (21-12 last season) two days later. It will be the first time in UT Martin men’s basketball history that the Skyhawks have matched up against Wyoming and Colorado. The Skyhawks will then travel to Arkansas State on Nov. 13 for the third game of the Global Sports Challenge, squaring off against the Red Wolves for the ninth time in the last decade.
UT Martin’s home opener is set for Friday, Nov. 15, when they take on Rochester College for the sixth-annual Character Counts game at 11 a.m. Approximately 1,800 students from local elementary, middle and high schools will attend the game as part of a field trip to reward good behavior.
A road trip to Florida State then follows two days later, giving the Skyhawks the chance to play against UT Martin alum and current Seminoles head coach Leonard Hamilton. A 1971 graduate of UT Martin, Hamilton was inducted into the inaugural class of the UT Martin Athletics Hall of Fame in 1983.
Following their fourth road game out of five to start the season, the Skyhawks open up a four-game homestand on Nov. 20 against UMKC, facing the Kangaroos for the first time in program history. UT Martin then closes out its participation in the Global Sports Challenge against Jackson State two days later, followed by a pair of contests against in-state rivals Lipscomb (Nov. 25) and Bethel (Nov. 27).
The Skyhawks will then head out to UNLV (25-10, NCAA Tournament appearance last season) on Nov. 30, followed by a road contest at Samford on Dec. 4. UT Martin returns home to host Northern Kentucky on Dec. 7, one of two home games in the month of December.
UT Martin then travels to Clinton, SC on Dec. 16 for its first-ever matchup against Presbyterian out of the Big South Conference. Three days later, the Skyhawks head to Fayetteville, Ark. to take on Arkansas out of the Southeastern Conference. It will be the first time since 1992 that UT Martin will battle the Razorbacks.
The final nonconference game will take place on Dec. 21, when the Skyhawks play host to Southeastern Louisiana in a return game from the 2012 BracketBusters event.
Ohio Valley Conference play opens on Dec. 30, when the Skyhawks travel to Jacksonville State. Road matchups at Austin Peay (Jan. 2) and at Murray State (Jan. 4) follow before back-to-back home games against Tennessee State and Belmont on Jan. 9 and Jan. 11, respectively. A road game at Morehead State follows one week later before the Skyhawks host OVC West foes Eastern Illinois (Jan. 23) and SIU Edwardsville (Jan. 25).
A four-game road swing to Eastern Kentucky, Eastern Illinois, SIU Edwardsville and Southeast Missouri then takes place before UT Martin closes out the regular season with a four-game homestand. The Skyhawks will host Tennessee Tech, Southeast Missouri, Murray State and Austin Peay over a span of nine days before the OVC Tournament on March 5-8. The OVC Tournament will once again take place at Municipal Auditorium in downtown Nashville.