BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The UAB men’s basketball team has announced its 2019-20 schedule.
The nonconference campaign will feature 13 total games, including eight at home, three true road games and a pair of neutral site matchups. Conference USA play will be 18 games, with the final four contests being part of C-USA Bonus Play.
“I am looking forward to see how our team grows throughout the season with this schedule, especially with three true road games and a pair of neutral site contests” head coach Robert Ehsan said. “We are anticipating big-name opponents Kentucky, Texas, Memphis and Duquesne among others to prepare us for another challenging season of C-USA play. We believe this schedule can put us in a position for postseason opportunities.”
After an exhibition game against Morehouse on Nov. 1 at Bartow, the Blazers, who are 28-13 all-time in season-openers, tipoff the regular season on the road at in-state rival Troy on Nov. 7. UAB is 5-0 against the Trojans on their home court.
The home opener will be Nov. 11 against Alabama A&M. The Blazers have a 34-7 record when opening the home slate, winning six of their last seven games at Bartow Arena. UAB is a perfect 12-0 against the Bulldogs in a series that began in 1999.
The next four contests are part of the BBN (Big Blue Nation) Showcase which begins Nov. 15 when the Blazers host Utah Valley. UVU advanced to the Second Round of the CBI last season, finishing with 25 victories. This will be the first match-up between the Blazers and Wolverines.
The event continues when Mount St. Mary’s comes to Birmingham on Nov. 20. This is the first game between the Blazers and Mountaineers.
Lamar is coming off a 20-13 season and finished last year by winning nine of their last 10 games will visit on Nov. 26. The Blazers and Cardinals have met one time, a 101-88 victory for UAB on Nov. 24, 1990 at Bartow Arena. In that game, the Blazers handed out 32 assists – the second most in a single-game in program history.
The BBN Showcase wraps up in Lexington on Nov. 29 against Kentucky. UK had 30 wins last season and advanced to the Elite Eight. The Blazers and Wildcats have met five times, with UAB holding a 3-2 advantage. Their last matchup was on Dec. 15, 2007 when Robert Vaden scored 33 points – including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:15 to play – as UAB rallied past Kentucky 79-76 at Freedom Hall in Louisville. UAB also defeated UK in a pair of NCAA tournament games – 69-62 in the 1981 Second Round and the historic 2004 Second Round game when Mo Finley’s jumper with 12.2 seconds remaining stunned the No.1 overall seed 76-75, advancing UAB to the Sweet 16.
The final road game of the nonconference season will be at Texas on Dec. 3. The Longhorns are coming off an NIT championship. This marks the second meeting between the two schools. The last was Dec. 21, 2016 also in Austin.
UAB will stay at home for the next 10 days beginning Dec. 7 when they host Memphis in the Bartow Classic. This is the 50th meeting between the Blazers and Tigers in a series that began in 1984. The two teams have split the last two matchups, with each team holding home court. Before building the UAB men’s basketball program and serving as its head coach from 1979 to 1996, Coach Gene Bartow served as the head coach of Memphis for four seasons (1970-1974).
Montevallo comes to Bartow on Dec. 14. The Falcons play in the Gulf South Conference in Division II. This is the first meeting between the two Alabama schools.
North Alabama will then make the trek south on Dec. 17. The Lions, who are in their second season of Division I play, make their second consecutive trip to Birmingham. UAB defeated UNA 76-67 in last season’s contest.
Prior to Christmas, UAB will play a pair of games in St. Petersburg, Fla. in the St. Pete Shootout hosted by Eckerd College beginning Dec. 21 with Alabama State. The Blazers are a perfect 8-0 against the in-state rival Hornets. The following day, UAB will matchup with Duquesne. This will be the first matchup against the Dukes since 1996.
Nonconference play ends on Dec. 28 when Thomas University comes to Magic City. The Night Hawks are an NAIA school in Thomasville, Ga. that play in the Sun Conference.
League play begins with a pair of road games starting Jan. 2 as the Blazers travel to Charlotte. UAB has defeated the 49ers in five of the last six games and four in a row at Halton Arena. UAB then visits defending C-USA champion Old Dominion on Jan. 4. The Monarchs are coming off a 26 win season and an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
The 2019-20 C-USA home opener is Jan. 9 when WKU comes to Birmingham. The Hilltoppers reached the finals of the C-USA championship last season. On Jan. 11, Marshall visits Bartow Arena. The Thundering Herd was the 2019 CIT champions and finished the season with 23 wins.
UAB travels to Florida for two games beginning Jan. 16 when they visit FIU. Two days later, UAB heads to Boca Raton to face FAU. The Blazers have won the last seven meetings in the series against the Owls. Both teams played in the CIT last season.
Southern Miss visits Bartow on Jan. 23. UAB will look for continued success against USM having won seven of the last eight meetings. The Golden Eagles played in the CBI last season. Next up is LaTech on Jan. 25. The Blazers have success against the Bulldogs, winning seven of the eight times the teams have played in Birmingham dating back to 1988.
UAB goes to Texas for the next two games beginning with UTSA on Jan. 30. The Blazers eliminated the Roadrunners from the C-USA Championship last season to advance to the semifinals. Feb. 1 the Blazers visit El Paso. UAB has won three of four against the Miners.
Rice comes to Birmingham on Feb. 6. The Blazers have dominated the series, taking 14 of the last 15 games going back to 1981. The next game is Feb. 8 against North Texas. The Mean Green won 21 games last season.
The next two contests are a home-and-home with Middle Tennessee. The first will be played in Birmingham on Feb. 12 followed by a contest in Murfreesboro on Feb. 15.
The last four regular season games – two home and two road – are C-USA Bonus Play. The dates of the games are slated to be Feb. 22, Feb. 27, March 1, March 4 and March 7. UAB will only play on four of the five designated dates, which will complete the regular season.
The 2020 Conference USA Championship will take place at The Star in Frisco, Texas beginning March 11 through March 14.
The entire UAB men’s basketball schedule can be found here.