OMAHA, Neb. — The Omaha men’s basketball program has released its 2017-18 season schedule, head coach Derrin Hansen announced Thursday. The Mavericks’ upcoming regular-season slate comprises 30 games, including 12 home contests at Baxter Arena.
Omaha roars into the season with seven straight road games, opening with three in five days at Montana State (Nov. 10), Oklahoma (Nov. 12) and New Mexico (Nov. 14) — the last of which is part of the Destin Realty Emerald Coast Classic multi-team tournament. The Mavericks next visit Louisville (Nov. 17) and TCU (Nov. 20) – with the latter also part of the Emerald Coast Classic – then cap the tournament with a pair of games against Tennessee Tech, Jackson State or Maryland-Eastern Shore (Nov. 24-25) in Niceville, Fla.
On Nov. 29, Omaha makes its home debut by hosting the first of two meetings with Drake, then hits the road again for Washington (Dec. 3), UC Santa Barbara (Dec. 5) and a return trip to DU (Dec. 9).
Two more home tilts are set with Arkansas State (Dec. 13) and Cornell College (Dec. 17), paving the way for a one-day turnaround to meet Kansas (Dec. 18) at vaunted Allen Fieldhouse. Omaha has one final home test with a return call from Montana State (Dec. 21) before going on winter break.
“For the second consecutive year, we have a demanding non-conference slate,” Hansen said. “With perennial top-25 teams in Kansas, Louisville and Oklahoma, plus Washington and TCU, we will need a road warrior mentality early in our schedule to face hostile environments in the Big 12, ACC and Pac-12. We’re up to meeting those challenges, as it will pay dividends as we move toward league play second semester.”
The Mavericks kick off their Summit League schedule at Oral Roberts (Dec. 30), then welcome in-state foe Doane (Jan. 2) and South Dakota State (Jan. 6) to open the new year.
Conference play continues with a pair of road games at Western Illinois (Jan. 11) and Fort Wayne (Jan. 13). Omaha brings in Denver (Jan. 18) and South Dakota (Jan. 20) the following week, then visits North Dakota State (Jan. 25) to close the first half of the league slate.
A short week includes a single stop at South Dakota State (Jan. 30), after which the Mavericks return to Baxter Arena for Western Illinois (Feb. 7) and Fort Wayne (Feb. 10). Their last road test comes at Denver (Feb. 14) and South Dakota (Feb. 17), and the regular season ends at home with Oral Roberts (Feb. 22) and North Dakota State (Feb. 24).
The Summit League Tournament is set for March 3-6 at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, S.D.
“As always, the Summit League will be competitive top-to-bottom, and we relish that challenge,” Hansen said. “Our program has had two straight top-three regular-season finishes and came within a shot of last year’s NCAA Tournament. The run through the Summit League Tournament was a fantastic experience for our players, fans and university, and we look to build upon that success in 2017-18.”
Over the regular season, UNO will play in 16 states with competition from 11 other Division I conferences. The schedule has three opponents from the Big 12 and one each from the ACC, Pac-12, Mountain West, MVC, Big West, Sun Belt, Big Sky, OVC, SWAC and MEAC. Three opponents – Kansas, Louisville and defending Summit League champion South Dakota State – played in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, with the Jayhawks reaching the Elite Eight.
Hansen enters his 13th season at the helm of the Omaha program, boasting a career record of 197-166. UNO returns seven letterwinners from the 2016-17 squad, including Summit League All-Newcomer honoree Mitch Hahn.
Season tickets are on sale now in person at the Baxter Arena Box Office, by phone at (402) 554-MAVS or online at OMavs.com/tix. Ticket packages start at $115.