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Omaha Men release upcoming season’s schedule

Omaha Men release upcoming season’s schedule

OMAHA, Neb. — The Omaha men’s basketball program has released its 2018-19 season schedule, head coach Derrin Hansenannounced Wednesday. The Mavericks’ upcoming regular-season slate comprises 29 games, including 12 home contests at Baxter Arena.

Omaha opens the season at Minnesota (Nov. 6), then makes its home debut three days later against Buena Vista (Nov. 9) at Baxter Arena.

Another home contest follows against Northern Arizona (Nov. 14), and later that same week Omaha hits the road to face Colorado (Nov. 16) and Bethune Cookman (Nov. 20). After a short break for Thanksgiving, the Mavericks welcome Montana State (Nov. 24) as part of the first year of the Big Sky/Summit League Challenge.

Five straight road games follow, beginning with a stretch at Iowa State (Nov. 26) and Arizona State (Nov. 28). The following weekend, Omaha visits Seattle (Dec. 6) and Oregon (Dec. 8), then finishes the road swing at Idaho (Dec. 15) for a second game in the Big Sky/Summit League series.

The Mavericks then return home for UC Santa Barbara (Dec. 19) before closing the non-conference slate at Rice (Dec. 21).

“We’ve finalized a challenging schedule for the non-conference portion of the season that includes familiar places like Iowa State, Minnesota and Colorado,” Hansen said. “We’ll also be at Oregon, which has Omaha ties on its staff. Arizona State is a first-time opponent for us, and we’re excited for the start of a four-year agreement for the Summit League/Big Sky Challenge.

“Our goal is to get to the first of the year as healthy and prepared as possible for the conference season, and this schedule will provide opportunities for that.”

Summit League play begins after winter break, kicking off with three straight home games against Denver (Dec. 28), Oral Roberts (Dec. 30) and North Dakota State (Jan. 2). The first conference road trip takes Omaha to league newcomer North Dakota (Jan. 10), followed by Western Illinois (Jan. 17).

After a home matchup with South Dakota (Jan. 20), the Mavericks head to Purdue Fort Wayne (Jan. 24) and South Dakota State (Jan. 26).

The second half of league play starts with a home game against North Dakota (Feb. 3) and a quick trip to South Dakota (Feb. 7). Omaha plays its final home games of the season with a three-game home stand against South Dakota State (Feb. 14), Purdue Fort Wayne (Feb. 16) and Western Illinois (Feb. 20). The regular season concludes with three consecutive road contests at North Dakota State (Feb. 23), Oral Roberts (Feb. 28) and Denver (March 2).

The Summit League Tournament, pushed back one week later this year, is set for March 9-12 at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, S.D.

“The Summit League, top to bottom, will be as strong as I can remember in our time as a member,” Hansen said. “The addition of North Dakota brings back another familiar rivalry for longtime Maverick fans.”

Over the regular season, Omaha will play in 14 states with competition from eight other Division I conferences. The schedule has three opponents from the Pac-12 and the Big Sky and one each from the Big 12, Big Ten, Big West, Conference USA, MEAC and WAC. Arizona State and defending Summit League champion South Dakota State both reached the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

Hansen enters his 14th season at the helm of the Omaha program, carrying a career record of 206-188 after he surpassed the 200 wins mark last year. UNO returns six letterwinners from the 2017-18 squad, including All-Summit selection Zach Jackson.

Season tickets are on sale now at the Baxter Arena Box Office, by phone at (402) 554-MAVS or online at OMavs.com/tix. Ticket packages start at $99.

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