Six postseason teams, five 20-win squads, and four conference champions comprise the non-conference schedule for the University of Evansville Men’s Basketball team in 2016.
“We are very excited about our non-conference schedule,” UE head coach Marty Simmons said. “The caliber of teams we will be playing in November and December will give our guys very important experience. Each game will present its own set of challenges while preparing us for conference play.”
A trip east on Interstate 64 begins the season as the Purple Aces will face Louisville on November 11. The Aces and Cardinals will meet up on the hardwood for the first time since 1957. Louisville was 23-8 last season and put forth a 12-6 mark in ACC play.
On Monday, November 14, the Aces open up the home schedule against Alcorn State. The Braves were one of the top squads in the Southwestern Athletic Conference last season, going 13-5 to take second in the regular season. Five days later, the Aces will be back at the Ford Center for a matchup against Morehead State. That contest will also mark the annual Fan Fest event, which will take place just outside the Ford Center. MSU is coming off of a 23-win campaign in 2015-16 that saw them advance to the finals of the College Basketball Invitational where they faced Nevada in the best of three series.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, Evansville heads south to Nashville for the Challenge in Music City. Aces fans have the opportunity to make the quick trip to watch the squad play three huge games in three days. Running from November 25-27, the tournament also features Middle Tennessee State, Toledo, and UNC Wilmington. MTSU, who went 25-10, was one of the true Cinderella stories of the 2016 NCAA Tournament. After winning the Conference USA Tournament, the Blue Raiders defeated #2 seed Michigan State in the opening round of the tournament.
UNC Wilmington was another NCAA squad, going 25-8 a season ago. The Seahawks were the Colonial Athletic Association champions and put forth a great fight against Duke in the NCAA Tournament, falling by a 93-85 final. Toledo was also over .500, winning 17 games in the Mid-American Conference.
Home play resumes on Wednesday, November 30, as the Aces play the first of five contests in a row at the Ford Center. The stretch begins with Wabash. On Saturday, November 3, the MVC/Mountain West Challenge features Boise State making its way to downtown Evansville. The Broncos won 20 games last year.
Next up on December 6 is a contest versus Bowling Green. The Falcons posted 16 victories in 2015-16. Murray State comes to town on December 10 before the home stretch wraps up against Norfolk State on December 14. The Spartans won 17 games last year and finished second in the MEAC on their way to a berth in the CIT.
On Saturday, December 17, the Aces will play their final road non-conference game as they make the short trip to Clarksville, Tennessee, to face Austin Peay. The Governors are the defending Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Champions and faced Kansas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Non-conference play wraps up on December 22 at home against defending Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Champion Mount St. Joseph.
The renewal deadline for season tickets is Friday, August 19. Deposits are also being taken for new season tickets. For more information, call 812-488-ACES.
2016 UE Men’s Basketball Non-Conference Schedule
Friday, November 11 at Louisville - Louisville, Kentucky
Monday, November 14 vs. Alcorn State - Evansville, Indiana
Saturday, November 19 vs. Morehead State - Evansville, Indiana
2016 Challenge in Music City
Friday, November 25 vs. Toledo - Nashville, Tennessee
Saturday, November 26 vs. UNC Wilmington - Nashville, Tennessee
Sunday, November 27 vs. MTSU - Nashville, Tennessee
Wednesday, November 30 vs. Wabash - Evansville, Indiana
Saturday, December 3 vs. Boise State - Evansville, Indiana
Tuesday, December 6 vs. Bowling Green - Evansville, Indiana
Saturday, December 10 vs. Murray State - Evansville, Indiana
Wednesday, December 14 vs. Norfolk State - Evansville, Indiana
Saturday, December 17 at Austin Peay - Clarksville, Tennessee
Thursday, December 22 vs. Mount St. Joseph - Evansville, Indiana
All times are TBA