Blue Raider basketball faces challenging 2012-2013 slate
The Middle Tennessee men’s basketball schedule for the 2012-2013 season was released last week signaling the countdown toward one of the most highly-anticipated seasons in school history.
The Blue Raiders are coming off arguably their best campaign in the program’s 89-year history under Head Coach Kermit Davis. Last year’s squad won a record 25 games in the regular season and captured the Sun Belt’s outright regular season title for the first time with a 14-2 record in conference play. The team fell short of the NCAA Tournament after an early exit in the conference tournament, but advanced to the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament with victories over Marshall and Tennessee.
Many national analysts listed last season’s weak nonconference schedule as a major reason for the Blue Raiders being passed over by the selection committee in March.
However, a nonconference slate that features eight teams that made the postseason last year, including three SEC opponents, may bolster the team’s résumé, should they find themselves on the bubble again in 2013.
MT will kick off the season Nov. 9 at the Murphy Center versus Alabama State before heading on a three-game road trip featuring a neutral site game in Tampa, Fla. versus Florida State, a team that earned a No. 2 seed in last year’s NCAAs.
The Blue Raiders begin the defense of their regular-season Sun Belt title with a road game at Louisiana on Nov. 29 before finishing off their nonconference schedule with five games inside the state of Tennessee. Among these are home games against three opponents from last season in Ole Miss, UAB and Tennessee State.
The in-state stand will also feature a pair of games in Nashville versus heated local rivals.
Davis’ squad takes on Belmont for the third time in two seasons on Dec. 13 after tying last season’s series. The Bruins took game one, 87-84, in a double-overtime thriller as part of EA Sports Maui Invitational’s regional game in Murfreesboro. The Blue Raiders avenged their home-court loss with a 65-62 win at the Murphy Center on Dec. 13.
The second game in Nashville will be a matchup versus Vanderbilt, in which MT will somewhat ironically serve as the home team. The Commodores won last year’s nail-biter in Memorial Gymnasium, 84-77, despite trailing for the majority of the game. The loss ended a season-high 12-game winning streak for MT.
Other games of note on the 2012-2013 schedule are a pair of games versus rival Western Kentucky. The Blue Raiders host the Hilltoppers in Murfreesboro on Jan. 26 before traveling to Bowling Green, Ky. to finish out the regular season schedule.
The Sun Belt tournament will take place March 8-11 in Hot Springs, Ark.
Season tickets for the 2012-13 basketball season are available by calling the Blue Raider Athletic Ticket Office at 1-888-YES-MTSU. Students receive free admission to all standard home games with an MTSU ID.