NKU Men's Hoops Releases Home Schedule, Will Play Thomas More
It will be a new kind of crosstown shootout this coming basketball season when Thomas More travels from Crestview Hills to Highland Heights to take on Northern Kentucky.
The NKU men's basketball team released its home schedule for the upcoming 2018-19 season which will kickoff with the Norse's lone exhibition game against the Saints.
NKU is coming off back-to-back seasons of NCAA postseason play, a first round exit against Kentucky in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, and a quick departure from the 2018 NIT against Louisville.
That was an historic achievement for a team competing in its first two years of post-season eligibility in NCAA Division I.
Thomas More will compete one more season in NCAA Division III before transitioning to the NAIA. They will play NKU on October 30 at BB&T Arena, the 9,400-seat facility on the Highland Heights campus.
“We are excited to announce our 17-game home schedule for this year,” said head coach John Brannen. “It has always been our goal to prepare our team for the rigors of Horizon League play by challenging ourselves in the nonconference. This year’s home schedule accomplished this and brings perennial NCAA tournament teams as well as several programs picked at the top of their respective conferences to BB&T Arena. We will need all of Norse Nation to come out and support this year’s NKU men’s basketball team.”
The regular season for the Norse kicks off off on Tuesday, November 6 against Wilmington College, which also competes in NCAA Division III.
NKU hits the road to Northern Illinois on that following Friday and then returns home to host Wabash College, another NCAA Division III opponent, on Sunday, November 11.
Northern Kentucky will host a tournament at BB&T Arena starting Friday, November 16, in which all teams will play each other once. The teams include UNC-Ashville, Manhattan, and Coastal Carolina.
On Friday, November 30, NKU hosts the darlings of last season's NCAA Tournament, UMBC, which became the first-ever 16-seed to defeat a 1-seed (Virginia).
The non-conference home schedule wraps up with home games against Miami (Oh.) on December 16, and a repeat engagement with Northern Illinois on December 20.
The Horizon League season begins on Friday, December 28, when IUPUI comes to town.
Another primetime Friday night match-up pits the Norse against league rival Wright State on Jan. 11.
Green Bay (Jan. 24) and Milwaukee (Jan. 26) close out the month of January for the Norse, as the two Wisconsin-based schools make the trip to Highland Heights.
This year’s homecoming week festivities include a Thursday-night match-up with Detroit Mercy on Feb. 7. Fans and alumni will celebrate Homecoming on Feb. 9, when the Norse face off against Oakland.
The home regular-season slate comes to a close the weekend of Feb. 21-23. Youngstown State and NKU battle on the hardwood that Thursday night before the home schedule wraps up against Cleveland State on Saturday.
The 17 home games for the Norse are the most in the Division I era and most since NKU also hosted 17 contests in the 2010-11 season.
Under Brannen’s leadership and through the support of Norse Nation, BB&T Arena has become one of the toughest places to play. NKU is 31-11 (.738) at home with Brannen as a head coach, but that number improves to 24-4 (.857) over the last two seasons.
Season tickets go on sale for the general public at 10 a.m., Monday, Sept. 10. Ticket information can be found at www.NorseTickets.com.