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Big Intersectional Games Highlight Tech Hoops Slate

Aug. 18, 2004

ATLANTA – Coming off a run to the NCAA national championship game in 2004, Georgia Tech’s basketball team enters its first season in the expanded Atlantic Coast Conference and has major intersectional, nationally-televised, games against Michigan, Gonzaga and Kansas on its schedule, announced Wednesday afternoon by the ACC office.

Tech, 28-10 last season and ranked No. 3 in the final coaches poll, hosts Michigan in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Nov. 30, has a Dec. 18 date with Gonzaga in the nightcap of the Las Vegas Showdown, and visits Kansas on New Year’s Day. All three games will be televised on ESPN.

“I believe we are playing one of the most competitive schedules in the country,” said head coach Paul Hewitt, who will begin his fifth season at Tech when the Yellow Jackets host Alabama State on Nov. 19. “We play 18 games against teams that were in the NCAA or NIT last year, and our non-conference schedule has some outstanding made-for-television matchups.

Thirteen games on the Yellow Jackets’ schedule are against teams that played in last year’s NCAA Tournament, including non-conference tilts against Alabama State, Illinois-Chicago, Air Force, Gonzaga and Kansas. Five are against teams that played in the NIT. That’s 18 games out of 27 against teams that made it to post-season play last year.

“We want to be considered one of the best basketball programs in the country, and to do that, you need to play the best,” Hewitt added.

In the first-ever meeting between the two schools, Tech and Gonzaga will tip off at 9:30 p.m. local time (airing at 12:30 a.m. in the East) at the Thomas and Mack Center, the home of UNLV. The Bulldogs won West Coast Conference and made the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season. That game will follow a duel between Oklahoma State and the host Runnin’ Rebels.

The game with Michigan, last year’s NIT champion, will be nationally televised by ESPN and tip off at 7 p.m. on Nov. 30. Tech and Michigan will be meeting for the second time in this event, and for the seventh time overall. The Wolverines took an 80-77 victory in the most recent meeting, played at Philips Arena in the first ACC-Big Ten Challenge in 1999.

It is the second year in a row Tech will play the defending post-season NIT champion. The Jackets defeated St. John’s, the 2003 champ, 79-66 at home last December.

The game at Kansas (2:30 p.m. Eastern time) is a rematch of the 2004 NCAA St. Louis Regional final, in which the Yellow Jackets prevailed 79-71 in overtime to advance to the Final Four. Tech is 1-3 all-time against the Jayhawks, and will make its first visit to Allen Fieldhouse since 1972 (a 93-65 Kansas victory).

Among the other non-conference highlights are a Dec. 5 home game against state rival Georgia (8 p.m.), one of four appearances for Tech on the nationally-televised ACC Sunday Night Hoops package on FSN (formerly known as Fox Sports Net); a Dec. 11 game against Air Force at Philips Arena (3:30 p.m.); and a Dec. 15 home game against James Madison (7 p.m.), in its first season under former Yellow Jackets assistant Dean Keener.

In the first year of the expanded ACC, Tech will play new members Miami twice and Virginia Tech once (at home). The Yellow Jackets are 2-1 all-time against the Hurricanes, whom they last played in 1997, and 1-4 against the Hokies, with the last meeting occurring in the 1984 NIT.

Tech will play Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina only once this season, with Virginia coming to Atlanta and Tech traveling to the other two. Tech will play home-and-away with Clemson, Duke, Florida State, NC State and Wake Forest.

Tech will appear on ESPN a total of six times, including a Feb. 23 home game against Duke and a Mar. 2 visit to Wake Forest. The other FSN Sunday Night Hoops games are Jan. 16 at N.C. State, Jan. 30 at Maryland and Feb. 13 at home against the Wolfpack. The Yellow Jackets make one appearance on CBS, Feb. 5 at Duke, and one on ABC, Feb. 20 at Florida State.

Tech opens the regular-season Friday, Nov. 19, at home against Alabama State at 5:30 p.m., following a pair of exhibition games against Kennesaw State and LeMoyne. Beginning with the ACC-Big Ten Challenge game against Michigan on Nov. 30, the Yellow Jackets will play on television 22 times in 24 games.

The entire Tech 2004-05 schedule follows:

Date Day     Opponent        Time    TVNov. 6  KENNESAW STATE (exhibition)     2:00 p.m.Nov. 14 LEMOYNE (exhibition)    2:00 p.m.Nov. 19 ALABAMA STATE   5:30 p.m.Nov. 22 at Illinois-Chicago     8:00 p.m.Nov. 26 ARKANSAS-LITTLE ROCK    7:00 p.m.Nov. 30 MICHIGAN (ACC-Big Ten Challenge)        7:00 p.m.       ESPNDec. 5  GEORGIA 8:00 p.m.       FSNDec. 11 Air Force (at Philips Arena)    3:00 p.m.       FSNS/SunDec. 15 JAMES MADISON   7:00 p.m.       FSNSDec. 18 Gonzaga (at Las Vegas, Nev.)    12:30 a.m.*     ESPNDec. 22 CHARLESTON SOUTHERN     7:00 p.m.Dec. 28 LAFAYETTE       7:00 p.m.Jan. 1  at Kansas       2:30 p.m.       ESPNJan. 6  MIAMI   7:00 p.m.       RSNJan. 8  VIRGINIA        8:00 p.m.       RJJan. 12 at North Carolina       7:00 p.m.       ESPNJan. 16 at NC State     5:30 p.m.       FSNJan. 22 VIRGINIA TECH   4:00 p.m.       RJJan. 27 WAKE FOREST     8:00 p.m.       RJ SplitJan. 30 at Maryland     5:30 p.m.       FSNFeb. 2  FLORIDA STATE   7:00 p.m.       RSNFeb. 5  at Duke 1:00 p.m.       CBSFeb. 8  at Clemson      7:00 p.m.       RSNFeb. 13 NC STATE        6:30 p.m.       FSNFeb. 20 at Florida State        1:30 p.m.       ABCFeb. 23 DUKE    7:00 p.m.       ESPNFeb. 26 at Miami        4:00 p.m.       RJ SplitMar. 2  at Wake Forest  7:00 p.m.       ESPNMar. 5  CLEMSON 1:30 p.m.       RJMar.10-13       ACC Tournament, Washington, D.C.                RJ/ESPNAll times Eastern (*Gonzaga game time locally is 9:30 p.m. Pacific time on Saturday, Dec. 18. TV air time is after midnight Easterm time - early Sunday morning.)Home games in ALL CAPS

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