Aug. 24, 2011
ATLANTA – Eight Atlantic Coast Conference home games, as well as big non-conference contests against Alabama and Northwestern, will be played at Philips Arena, and a pre-Thanksgiving trip to the Charleston Classic highlight the 2011-12 Georgia Tech men’s basketball schedule that awaits head coach Brian Gregory’s first Yellow Jacket team.
Tech’s schedule includes six games, and as many as eight, against teams which played in last year’s NCAA Tournament, and six more against teams that participated in the NIT. Seven of the Tech games will be televised on ESPNU nationally, six will appear on the ACC’s regional cable network (FS South and others), and five will appear on the ACC Network’s regional syndication package.
Tech’s ACC games that appear on the ACC Network or the ACC’s regional cable network (RSN) also will be available on ESPN3.com. The non-conference games which have not been selected for television as of Wednesday may still be picked up by a regional cable outlet or by ESPN3.com. Announcements on those will come at a later date.
Gregory’s Yellow Jackets will tip off their ACC slate against Duke on Saturday, Jan. 7, in a conference gauntlet at Philips Arena that also features Virginia, Miami, Boston College, NC State, Clemson, Maryland and Wake Forest.
Also at Philips Arena, Tech will host Northwestern, a 2011 NIT quarterfinalist, in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday, Nov. 29, and Alabama, the 2011 NIT runner-up, on Tuesday, Jan. 3, both games on ESPNU. Tech and Alabama last met in January of 2009 in Tuscaloosa, an 88-77 Crimson Tide win, and the former SEC rivals have played 68 times dating back to 1921. Northwestern defeated Tech in Evanston, Ill., last year in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, and the Wildcats are making their first trip to Atlanta.
Georgia Tech’s season ticket package for 2011-12 includes those 10 games for a price of $300 (Order at http://ramblinwreck.cstv.com/tickets/mbb.html). The games at Philips Arena, Tech’s first in the facility since December of 2004, will make the Yellow Jackets feel right at home when the 58th annual ACC Tournament is conducted there March 8-11.
“We’ve been able to put together a very challenging schedule,” said Gregory, acknowledging that some of the non-conference games were contracted for before the arrival of the new coaching staff in March. “The Charleston Classic has an outstanding field. Alabama and Northwestern are two teams on the verge of making the NCAA Tournament after having good NIT runs last year. Then there’s the big rivalry game at Georgia, which made the NCAA Tournament last year.
“You add that to playing in the most prestigious conference in the country, and we’re going to face a difficult task every night.”
In this season when Tech’s on-campus home is being transformed from the venerable Alexander Memorial Coliseum into the sparkling new McCamish Pavilion, Tech also will play five early home games at the Arena at Gwinnett in Duluth, Ga. The slate begins with a Nov. 11 matchup against Florida A&M, the nightcap of a double-header with the Yellow Jackets’ women’s team.
Also on the Gwinnett schedule is Delaware State (Nov. 14), Siena (Nov. 23), Alabama A&M (Dec. 19) and Mercer (Dec. 22). For a limited time, Georgia Tech is offering a 10-game ticket voucher book, called the Gwinnett Buzz Book, for $50, which can be used to attend any men’s or women’s game at the Arena at Gwinnett. All seating at Gwinnett will be general admission.
Tech and Mercer will square off for the 45th time in a series that dates back to 1909. The Jackets will be meeting Delaware State for just the second time (first time in 1997), and have a 1-2 series record against Siena, who defeated the Jackets last year in Albany, N.Y. Florida A&M and Alabama A&M have both visited Atlanta in recent years.
Tech’s trip to the Charleston Classic, Nov. 17-20, has the Yellow Jackets opening with St. Joseph’s on Thursday, Nov. 17, and a second-round game against either Seton Hall or Final Four participant VCU on Nov. 18. Tech will face wither LSU, Northwestern, Tulsa or Western Kentucky in the final round on Nov. 20. The Jackets and Saint Joseph’s will meet for the first time since a first-round matchup in the 2001 NCAA West Regional in San Diego.
The annual game between the Yellow Jackets and Georgia will take place Wednesday, Dec. 7, in Athens, the 188th meeting between the state rivals. The Jackets are looking for their first win at Stegeman Coliseum since the series moved back to the campuses in 1995. Tech also will make December non-conference road trips to Tulane (Dec. 3), Savannah State (Dec. 10) and Fordham (Dec. 29).
Tech’s meeting with Tulane will be the 68th between the former SEC rivals, and the Jackets’ first visit to New Orleans since January of 2003. Tech is making its first-ever visit to Rose Hill Gym to play Fordham, and will be the first ACC team to play there since 1965. The teams had a scheduled game last season in Atlanta on Dec. 27, which was cancelled when a major snowstorm in the Northeast prevented the Rams from traveling to Atlanta. The Jackets defeated Savannah State last year in the first-ever meeting between the two schools, and Tech will play its first basketball game in the city of Savannah since 1928.
In the ACC, the Yellow Jackets will visit NC State, Maryland, Clemson, North Carolina, Florida State, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and Boston College.