Aug. 27, 2014
THE FLATS – Home games against top-25 teams Louisville, North Carolina and Syracuse in the Atlantic Coast Conference, as well as non-conference dates against Georgia and Vanderbilt highlight the schedule for the 100th season of Georgia Tech men’s basketball announced Wednesday by the conference office.
Every ACC game for Georgia Tech as well as the ACC-Big Ten Challenge matchup at Northwestern will be televised – seven on the ESPN family of networks, six on the ACC Network (WATL-TV, Ch. 36 in Atlanta) and five on the ACC regional cable network (Fox Sports South in Atlanta). Television and tip times for Tech’s remaining non-conference games will be announced in September.
Tech’s 16-game home schedule in its third season in McCamish Pavilion (seven non-conference and nine ACC games) will again be one of the strongest ever for the Yellow Jackets. Season tickets can be renewed online, and new season tickets can be purchased at TogetherWeSwarm.com. Tech basketball fans, for the first time, are being offered a two-year season ticket plan that rewards them with price discounts off single-year pricing in both 2014-15 and 2015-16.
“There’s no question that now, with the addition of Louisville, and with Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Notre Dame having a full year in our league, that our conference, top to bottom, is the best basketball conference in the country,” said Tech coach Brian Gregory. “We have four Hall of Fame coaches in our league. We have teams that had great success last year and teams that are poised to have breakout seasons this year. This league has teams that are national brands, and that’s always exciting. However, it is important to note that the last three ACC champions come from outside of that group, which demonstrates the depth and overall strength of the league. There are no off nights in this conference, and that’s where the ACC separates itself.
“Coming through McCamish Pavilion this season will be some of the most storied programs in the history of college basketball – Louisville, Syracuse, North Carolina and Notre Dame. The challenge always is that, every single night, you have to be at the top of your game, as a coach and as a team. Our league has won seven of the last 14 national championships, has produced more first-round NBA draft picks than any other conference, and with the number of elite level players returning combined with an influx of talented recruits, this year will only add another chapter to our tremendous tradition.”
With two starters returning, including All-ACC candidate Marcus Georges-Hunt, Gregory’s fourth Tech team opens the 2014-15 campaign with a home contest against Georgia, the earliest the two state rivals have ever played in the 190-game history of the series. The Yellow Jackets have won the last three contests in the series, the first time that has happened since the early 1990s.
Tech follows the Georgia game with a pair of home contests against Alabama A&M (Nov. 18) and IPFW (Nov. 21) before traveling to compete Thanksgiving weekend in the Orlando Classic (Nov. 27-30), stacked with perennial powerhouses Kansas, Michigan State and Marquette. The Yellow Jackets open the event against Marquette with an eye toward a possible second-round matchup with Michigan State.
The visit to Northwestern on Dec. 3 comes on the heels of the Orlando Classic, with visits to McCamish Pavilion by USC Upstate (Dec. 6), Appalachian State (Dec. 15) and Vanderbilt (Dec. 20) before Tech travels to Dayton (Dec. 23). The Flyers reached the NCAA Sweet 16 last season and won 26 games, one of those at McCamish Pavilion. Charlotte visits Tech on Dec. 30 to complete the pre-conference slate.
“We’re very pleased with our non-conference schedule because it hits our key objectives in our scheduling game plan,” said Gregory. “It’s highly competitive due to the fact that we’re playing teams that will build on their success from last year or have the pieces in place to be post-season-caliber teams this year. These opponents will build the strength of schedule component of our RPI as well as testing us prior to ACC play.
“Playing two SEC teams at home and an Atlantic 10 team on the road during the non-conference is exciting. When you add that to our ACC-Big Ten Challenge game and the Orlando Classic, which includes Michigan State, Kansas, Marquette and Tennessee, I believe that this is the most difficult non-conference schedule that we have put together in our time here.”
For the second straight year, Tech opens ACC play on the road, this time Jan. 3 at Notre Dame, and plays four of its first six conference games away from home. The two home games feature Syracuse making its first-ever visit to Tech’s campus Jan. 7, and the Fighting Irish finishing off their regular-season series at Tech on Jan. 14. Boston College (Jan. 25) and NC State (Jan. 31) both visit McCamish Pavilion before the end of January.
The Yellow Jackets begin February with a trip to Duke (Feb. 4), then play three of their next four games at home against Wake Forest (Feb. 7), Florida State (Feb. 14) and Clemson (Feb. 16). The home stretch includes two games against North Carolina, in Chapel Hill on Feb. 21 and at McCamish Pavilion on March 3 for the season’s final home game, as well as Tech’s first appearance on ESPN’s Big Monday at home against Louisville on Feb. 23.
The Louisville game will be the third of three consecutive Monday appearances for the Yellow Jackets on the ESPN networks, which includes visit to Virginia Tech (Feb. 9) and a home tilt against Clemson (Feb. 16). All three of those contests at the back end of Saturday-Monday turnarounds.
Tech will have a bye on the final weekend of the regular-season before traveling to Greensboro, N.C. for the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament, to be held March 11-15.
■ A minimum of 10 Tech games can be seen on the ESPN family of networks, including all three games in the Orlando Classic, the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and six ACC games. Every Tech game in the ACC schedule will be televised either on an ESPN network, the ACC Network, or the ACC’s regional sports network (RSN).
■ Tech will make its first appearance on ESPN’s Big Monday platform, hosting Louisville on Feb. 23 at McCamish Pavilion. The Yellow jackets also visit Virginia Tech (Feb. 9) and host Clemson (Feb. 16) in Monday night games on ESPNU.
■ Tech will play a minimum of 13 games against teams that played in last year’s NCAA Tournament or NIT. The Yellow Jackets could face an additional two NCAA teams depending on how teams advance in the Orlando Classic.
■ Five ACC foes finished in the top 25 of the NCAA’s RPI rankings in 2013-14 – Virginia (10), Duke (14), Louisville (16), Syracuse (20), North Carolina (23). Two more – Pittsburgh (39), Florida State (49) – finished in the top 50, while NC State (55) and Clemson (65) were in the top 100.
■ Syracuse, which has played the Yellow Jackets’ at two different Atlanta arenas (The Omni in the 1985 NCAA Tournament, Philips Arena in 2001), is coming to the Tech campus for the first time. Louisville visited Alexander Memorial Coliseum six times (last time in 1991) and played the Jackets four times in the Georgia Dome between 1992 and 1997.
■ Unlike last year’s slate, Tech’s ACC schedule features consecutive road games only once (Pittsburgh and Virginia in January) and consecutive home games only once (Florida State and Clemson in February).
■ Tech does, however, open its conference schedule on the road for the second straight year and plays four of its first six games on the road. The Yellow Jackets have three of their final five ACC games at home.
■ Tech will play in Pittsburgh’s Petersen Events Center for the first time. The Yellow Jackets’ only previous trip to Pittsburgh to play the Panthers occurred Feb. 9, 1970, at Fitzgerald Field House.
■ Tech has a bye the final weekend of the regular season (March 7-8).
■ Tech’s games against Charlotte, Dayton and Vanderbilt complete two-year home-and-away agreements with Tech.
■ Three Tech non-conference opponents won 20 or more games in 2013-14, including Dayton (26-11), Georgia (20-14) and IPFW (25-11). Michigan State, a possible second-round opponent in the Orlando Classic, went 29-9, while Kansas (25-10) and Tennessee (24-13) could be the Yellow Jackets’ foe on the final day of that event.
■ Three Tech non-conference foes finished in the top 100 of the 2013-14 RPI, including Dayton (43), Georgia (74) and Marquette (92). Kansas finished No. 3, while Michigan State was No. 18. IPFW, Vanderbilt and Northwestern all finished among the top 125.
■ Tech is 10-6 in road games at non-Power 5 conference venues since the 2001-02 season, including a 58-55 win at Charlotte last December.
■ Tech and Georgia are meeting on the earliest date in the series’ 190-game history.
■ Among non-ACC foes, Tech has faced Vanderbilt (72 times) more than anyone except Georgia (190 times) and Auburn (114 times).
2014-15 GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Nov. 14 - GEORGIA (ESPN3) - Tech has won last 3 meetingsNov. 18 - ALABAMA A&M - Tech leads series 4-0, won 65-54 in Gregory's 1st season at TechNov. 21 - IPFW - First meetingNov. 27 - Marquette* (ESPN2) - Last meeting - 1977 in Atlanta (Marquette won NCAA title at Omni)Nov. 28 - Michigan State or Rider* (ESPN2/ ESPNU) - Tech met MSU in ACC-Big Ten Challenge in 2005, 0-2 vs. RiderNov. 30 - Orlando Classic (final round) - Kansas, Rhode Island, Santa Clara, Tennessee other side of bracketDec. 3 - at Northwestern (ESPNU) - Teams' third meeting in ACC-Big Ten ChallengeDec. 6 - USC UPSTATE - First meetingDec. 15 - APPALACHIAN STATE - Tech leads series 4-0, last meeting in 1998-99 seasonDec. 20 - VANDERBILT (ESPN3) - Teams have met 72 times, Commodores won last year in NashvilleDec. 23 - at Dayton (CBSSN) - Flyers won last year in Atlanta, Tech's only other visit to Dayton - 1977Dec. 30 - CHARLOTTE - Tech leads series 6-1, won last year in CharlotteJan. 3 - at Notre Dame (ACCN) - Irish won last year's meeting in South BendJan. 7 - SYRACUSE (ESPNU) - Jackets pulled upset of No. 7 Orange last year in SyracuseJan. 10 - at Wake Forest (ACCN) - Tech 4-1 vs. Demon Deacons under GregoryJan. 14 - NOTRE DAME (RSN) - Tech won last year's meeting in Atlanta, lead series 7-3Jan. 17 - at Pittsburgh (ACCN) - Tech's first visit to Petersen Events CenterJan. 22 - at Virginia (ACCN) - Tech's last win in Charlottesville: 2008Jan. 25 - BOSTON COLLEGE (RSN) - Jackets squeezed out 3 wins vs. Eagles last seasonJan. 28 - at Miami (RSN) - Tech knocked off eventual ACC champions in 2013Jan. 31 - NC STATE (ACCN) - Pack has won 4 straight since 1st meeting under Gregory in 2012Feb. 4 - at Duke (ESPN2) - Blue Devils have won 7 straight since Jan. 2010 Tech win in ATLFeb. 7 - WAKE FOREST (RSN) - Jackets won by 20 in Wake's last visit to AtlantaFeb. 9 - at Virginia Tech (ESPNU) - Tech has won last 2 meetings (10-point win last time in Blacksburg)Feb. 14 - FLORIDA STATE (ACCN) - Tech is 16-15 vs. Seminoles at homeFeb. 16 - CLEMSON (ESPNU) - Jackets are 40-23 all-time vs. Tigers in AtlantaFeb. 21 - at North Carolina (ACCN) - Teams have split the last 8 meetingsFeb. 23 - LOUISVILLE (ESPN) - Team's first meeting since 2005 NCAA 2nd round gameFeb. 28 - at Clemson (ACCN) - Jackets looking for first win at Clemson since 2005Mar. 3 - NORTH CAROLINA (ESPNU) - Tech has won 2 of last 3 at home vs. Tar HeelsMar. 10-14 - ACC Tournament/Greensboro, N.C. (ACCN/ESPN Networks)
*Orlando Classic -Home games at McCamish Pavilion in all caps -All conference games carried on an ESPN network will also be available on WatchESPN. -All conference games carried on the ACC Network or RSN will also be available on ESPN3.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is beginning its fourth year under head coach Brian Gregory. The Yellow Jackets have been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBK).