Ask and ye shall receive: basketball schedules released
Obviously it would be pretty hubristic to suggest that this afternoon’s announcement of EMU’s men’s and women’s basketball schedules had anything to do with me — it looks like the school was waiting for the Mid-American Conference schedule release — but for a moment there, when I saw that EMU had released the basketball schedule just three hours after I commented on it…well, you can guess what I thought!
The women’s basketball season will begin with an exhibition game against Wayne State on November 5 in the Convo, followed by the first regular-season game on November 8 (second half of a men’s/women’s doubleheader), when the Eagles will host Madonna, and then Butler, November 13, in Bowen Field House. Other highlights for the season will include a short trip to Michigan on December 11, hosting Akron January 26, travelling to Central Michigan January 30, hosting Toledo February 19, travelling to Toledo March 5, and hosting Central Michigan for senior day on March 8. On the whole it seems like a relatively weak schedule, which should be just the thing for a team in serious rebuilding mode.
As for the men’s team, they’ll start with an exhibition game against Marygrove on November 4, and start the regular season by hosting Albion November 8 (first half of a men’s/women’s doubleheader). As I mentioned this morning, they’ll then host Concordia and Robert Morris at Bowen. In the second half of November, the Eagles have partnered with Kentucky to co-host the Keightley Classic, named for former Kentucky men’s basketball equipment manager Bill Keightley, known to fans as “Mr. Wildcat”. The Eagles will host Cleveland State and Texas-Arlington, before heading to Lexington to face the Wildcats.
Other key non-conference men’s basketball games will include Massachusetts (December 3), at Purdue (December 7), Green Bay (December 10), at Oakland (December 21), at Duke (December 28), and at Syracuse (December 31). MAC games to circle include Western Michigan (January 14), Akron (January 22), Ohio (January 25), at Akron (February 5), Toledo (February 15, men’s/women’s doubleheader), at Western Michigan (February 23), senior day against Ball State (March 4), and at Toledo (either March 7 or March 8). At a glance, I think this is the best men’s basketball schedule EMU has put together in some time; it’s a nice balance of easier games, roughly even match-ups, and trips to the basketball palaces (Rupp Arena, Cameron Indoor Stadium, Carrier Dome).
You might have noticed that the EMU men’s basketball team will face Akron twice. Rather than the familiar 16-game schedule, in which each team plays division opponents twice (home and home) and cross-division opponents once, the Mid-American Conference has added two games, giving each team two randomly selected home-and-home series with cross-division opponents.1 I’ve got no problem with the concept, although getting two games against the Zips is a tough draw (EMU’s other home-and-home will be against Bowling Green), but I think the MAC may have missed an opportunity here by not establishing cross-division rivalries (ahem, Ontario Sandwich Trophy).
We’ll examine both in more depth as basketball season approaches, but for the time being, what do you think of these schedules?
- They did the same for the women, with EMU facing Kent State and Bowling Green twice each. [↩]