The UMBC men's basketball team will open its 25th season of NCAA Division I competition on Sunday, Nov. 14, when the host a high-powered V.M.I. Keydets' squad at the RAC Arena. Tip-off time is set for 3:00 p.m.
The contest vs. V.M.I. is the first of 13 non-conference contests for the Retrievers. The schedule is highlighted by four games vs. Baltimore-area rivals and a pair of games at Big East Conference heavyweights U. Conn (Dec. 3) and Notre Dame (Dec. 22) .
UMBC will face the Huskies and Fightin' Irish for the first time ever in men's basketball.
"It is a very attractive schedule which will prepare us very well for our America East Conference schedule, which is always very, very competitive," said seventh-year head coach Randy Monroe.
Five of the 13 games will be played at the RAC Arena. UMBC will host long-time rival CentralConnecticut State on Nov. 20, and goes on a five-game road swing before returning home to entertain Towson on Dec. 11. Three nights later, American University invades the RAC Arena (Dec. 14) and the Retrievers close the non-conference portion of the slate on Dec. 30 as they host another first-time foe in Niagara University.
The Retrievers' first road contest is on Nov. 17 when they visit Loyola and other short trips include games at locals Coppin State (Nov. 23) and Morgan State (Dec. 18).
"We should be playing all of the local schools. It is exciting for the players, the coaches, the administrators, and should be for all local college basketball fans as well," Monroe said.
UMBC also plays at Duquesne (Nov. 27), Penn (Nov. 30) and Rider (Dec. 8).
V.M.I. has led the nation in scoring offense in each of the past four seasons. After a 24-8 campaign in 2008-09, the Keydets were 10-19 a year ago, but still averaged 88.6 points per game. The game will mark the first meeting between the two schools and UMBC's first contest against a member of the Big South Conference since the 1997-98 season, the Retrievers' final year as a member of that conference.
"We've obviously got to stop them from scoring a lot of points. That's what they do. It should be an interesting game and an exciting way to start the season," Monroe said.
UMBC's America East slate is expected to be announced later this summer. The 2011 Men's Basketball Championships will be held on March 3-6, 2011 at The Chase Family Arena at the Reich Family Pavilion on University of Hartford's campus.