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UMass men’s basketball team opens season with three games in five days

By MATT VAUTOUR @GazetteUMass
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
(Published in print: Thursday, August 28, 2014)

After dropping its four required games against the MAC, UMass released a men’s basketball schedule with four games against the MAAC instead.

The Atlantic 10 released its conference schedule Wednesday, allowing its members to release their individual schedules for the 2014-15 season.

UMass leaves New England twice before New Year’s with games at LSU (Dec. 2) and at BYU (Dec. 23). Its exempted tournament is the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tipoff at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, where it’ll play Notre Dame (Nov. 22) and Florida State (Nov. 23).

The Minutemen open the season with three games in five days. They are at home against Siena on Nov. 14, followed two days later against Boston College at 3 p.m. at TD Garden. Two days after that UMass hosts Manhattan at 11 a.m. as part of ESPN’s Season Tipoff Marathon on ESPN2.

After the Mohegan Sun event, UMass plays back-to-back Beanpot teams, hosting Northeastern on Nov. 26 and traveling to Harvard on Nov. 29 at 2 p.m.

Details haven’t been finalized, but the Minutemen’s Dec. 7 game against Florida Gulf Coast will likely be moved to the MassMutual Center in Springfield.

UMass will face longtime former Atlantic 10 coach Jim Baron on Dec. 13 when Canisus comes to the Mullins Center. UMass closes 2014 with games at Providence (Dec. 20), at BYU (Dec. 23) and at home against Iona on Dec. 30.

UMass opens Atlantic 10 play at home against St. Bonaventure on Jan. 3 and closes at George Washington on March 7. The Atlantic 10 tournament is March 11-15 in Brooklyn, New York.

Notable A-10 games include:

∎ Conference newcomer Davidson will visit the Mullins Center for the first time as a league member on Jan. 14.

∎ UMass has a tough turnaround in late January. After hosting Dayton on ESPNU on Jan. 29, the Minutemen make their longest conference trip and play at Saint Louis on Jan. 31. The Billikens will face a similar travel schedule with a game at Richmond on Jan. 29.

∎ UMass is at likely A-10 favorite VCU on Feb. 21.

UMass’ schedule features 17 games against teams who won at least 20 games last year and 17 against postseason teams – including nine NCAA tournament teams (SLU, VCU, GW, St. Joe’s, Dayton, Harvard, Providence, Manhattan, BYU), five NIT teams (LSU, Iona, Florida Gulf Coast, Davidson, Florida State), one CBI (Siena, which won that event) and one CIT (Canisius).

Seven teams on the schedule either won their league’s regular season or conference tournament.

Ten games are set to be televised. UMass-LSU isn’t currently televised but could end up on the SEC Network. There’s a good chance UMass at Providence ends up on Fox Sports 1, which owns the Big East contract.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage

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