Men's Basketball ACC Schedule Announced
Yellow Jackets open with three home games in the first four in Pastner's first season
THE FLATS -
Georgia Tech's men's basketball team will begin its 2016-17 Atlantic Coast Conference schedule with three home games among the first four, including its first game on New Year's Eve since 2010, as announced Monday by the conference office.
Beginning on Dec. 31, head coach Josh Pastner's first Yellow Jacket team will host last year's NCAA Championship runner-up, North Carolina, at McCamish Pavilion either at 12 or 2 p.m. on the ACC Network. It is the first New Year's Eve game for Tech since facing Mercer on Dec. 31, 2010 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. It is also the Jackets' first December ACC game since Dec. 20, 2009.
"We're excited about the challenge ahead," said head coach Josh Pastner. "The ACC is the premier conference in college basketball -- seven teams coming off NCAA Tournament runs last year, and that doesn't count Louisville. Our players and coaches have put in a lot of hard work over the summer, and we're looking forward to getting back on the court to get ready. We've got some very challenging games in our non-conference schedule which will help us get ready for the ACC."
Tech continues the early part of its ACC schedule with a Jan. 4 visit to Duke, which reached the NCAA Sweet 16 last year, then returns home to host perennial power Louisville on Jan. 7 and Clemson on Jan. 12.
Three consecutive road games follow at NC State (Jan. 15), Virginia Tech (Jan. 18) and Virginia (Jan. 21), which reached last year's NCAA Elite Eight. The Jackets return home to host 2016 NIT participant Florida State (Jan. 25) and NCAA Elite Eight team Notre Dame (Jan. 28) to finish the month of January.
Tech begins the month of February with visits to Clemson (Feb. 1) and Wake Forest (Feb. 4), followed by a home game against Boston College (Feb. 11) and a visit to Miami (Feb. 15), which reached last year's NCAA Sweet 16.
Two consecutive Sunday-Tuesday turnarounds follow. NCAA Final Four team Syracuse and NC State visit McCamish Pavilion in on Feb. 19 and 21. Tech then returns the visit to Notre Dame on Feb. 26, followed by a home game against Pittsburgh on Feb. 28.
The Yellow Jackets finish off the schedule at the Carrier Dome against the Orange on March 1.
Tip times for the balance of Tech's non-conference games will be announced in the next few weeks along with television designations for those games selected by the conference's TV partners.
Season ticket packages for the Yellow Jackets' fifth season in McCamish Pavilion start as low as $360, or $20 per game. Purchasing season tickets guarantee patrons the lowest price per game for all 18 home games. A complete list of season-ticket holder benefits is available at TogetherWeSwarm.com, the official site for renewing or purchasing Georgia Tech basketball tickets. Fans can also purchase tickets by calling 1-888-TECH -TIX.
Pastner's first Tech team welcomes back seven letterwinners, including senior forward Quinton Stephens (6-9, Atlanta, Ga.), senior guards Josh Heath (6-2, Tampa, Fla.), and Corey Heyward (6-1, Duluth, Ga.) and junior guard Tadric Jackson (6-2, Tifton, Ga.), who have started 76 games between them in their careers, and junior center Ben Lammers (6-10, San Antonio, Texas). Pastner also welcomes a three-man freshman class that includes guards Justin Moore (6-4, San Diego, Calif.) and Josh Okogie (6-5, Snellville, Ga.) and wing forward Christian Matthews (6-6, Fort Washington, Md.).
■ Every Tech ACC game will be televised on either an ESPN network, the ACC Network or the Regional Sports Network. Nine of Tech's games, including non-conference games against Penn State, VCU and Georgia, will be televised nationally on an ESPN network.
■ Including both conference and non-conference foes, Georgia Tech will have 11 games during the regular season against teams that played in the NCAA Championship last season, two that played in the NIT and three that played in one of the other 2016 post-season events.
■ ESPN's "Way-too-early" top-25 rankings include Duke (1), Virginia (5), North Carolina (6), Louisville (13), Florida State (23) and Syracuse (25).
■ Six of the seven ACC teams that played in the NCAA Championship last year won at least one game. North Carolina reached the national championship game, Syracuse reached the Final Four, Virginia and Notre Dame reached the Elite Eight, and Duke and Miami made the Sweet Sixteen.
■ Four of those teams come to McCamish Pavilion in 2016-17 -- North Carolina (Dec. 31), Notre Dame (Jan. 28), Syracuse (Feb. 19) and Pittsburgh (Feb. 28).
■ Tech opens its ACC schedule against North Carolina for the second consecutive year.
■ Tech has one stretch of three straight road games -- NC State (Jan. 15), Virginia Tech (Jan. 18) and Virginia (Jan. 21) -- but no other consecutive road games.
■ Tech plays home-and-away series with NC State and Syracuse, as well as its permanent home-and-away partners Clemson and Notre Dame.
■ Four of Tech's nine home ACC games fall on a Saturday, with another on a Sunday. The Yellow Jackets will not play on Monday for the second straight year after playing three Monday games in 2014-15.
■ Tech is not playing in a Thanksgiving-week or early-season tournament this year, but its opening four home games against Tennessee Tech, Southern, Ohio and Sam Houston State constitute an NCAA-exempt event called the MTE Classic.
■ Tech is 11-7 in road games at non-Power 5 conference venues since the 2001-02 season, and the Yellow Jackets will visit VCU on Dec. 7. That game concludes three straight non-conference road tilts -- Penn State (Nov. 29), Tennessee (Dec. 3).
■ Among non-ACC foes, Tech has faced Tennessee and Tulane (70 times each) more than anyone except Georgia (192 times), Auburn (114 times) and Vanderbilt (73 times).
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN'S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech's men's basketball team is in its first year under head coach Josh Pastner. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men's Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB) and Instagram.