College basketball season is slowly, slowly, slowly getting here. The UT Arlington 2019-2020 conference schedule was released this week, and I’ve added the games to my schedule (I’ll fill in the rest of the games when they’re announced).
A couple of quick observations:
- A lot of road games early, a lot of home games later in the season. 7 out of the first 10 conference games that the Mavericks will play are on the road, so this team will be tested early, including a tough conference-opening trip to Georgia State and Georgia Southern. Georgia State is in a bit of a rebuilding year with longtime Panthers coach Ron Hunter departing for Tulane in the off-season, and Georgia Southern is always a dangerous, high-scoring team at home.
- Should the Mavs be able to withstand all the early road games (and hopefully be at .500 or better), the good news is that the schedule gets a bit easier. 7 of the final 10 conference games are at home inside the the amazing College Park Center. Could be a great chance to get hot just in time for the conference tournament and hopefully be in position to improve our seed (assuming we are not in first place, which we hopefully will be).
- After the first two road games, the Mavs have two weeks off over the Christmas holiday before heading to the state of Arkansas for two games. Not sure if there might be a non-conference game or two at home in there somewhere? Graduations are usually over at that point, so it seems like College Park Center would likely be available for sports events and I do recall attending quite a few home games over the years in late December.
- This year’s Sun Belt conference tournament will feature the first 3 rounds at conference sites, before playing the semifinal and final games in New Orleans.
- Unfortunately, former UTA Coach Scott Cross will not return to Arlington with his new team this season. UTA will play Troy once on the road in the final game of the season. Troy is always a fun team to watch. I think next season the fans will give Cross a very warm and well-deserved extended standing ovation before the game. He won a ton of games and put our program on the college basketball map.
- Circle your calendars: this year’s rivalry game against Texas State is Saturday, February 29. Always an entertaining contest with lots of vocal Texas State fans in attendance at College Park Center.