WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – Highlighted by seven teams who appeared in national postseason tournaments and five NCAA Tournament qualifiers, Monmouth men’s basketball announced its 2017-18 non-conference schedule Thursday. MU will play 12 games in non-league competition.

“Our non-conference schedule is obviously our toughest one to date,” said head coach King Rice. “It will be our biggest challenge that we’ve faced since I’ve been the head coach at Monmouth. I think there’s some great games on there for our fans and some great big games on there for our kids to challenge themselves.”

The slate opens with a home game for the third time in the King Rice era and second year in a row, as the Hawks will host 2017 Patriot League champion Bucknell on November 10. MU last saw the Bison in the 2016 National Invitation Tournament, a 90-80 Monmouth victory. Rice is 5-1 in home openers since taking over at MU.

MU heads north to take on in-state foe Seton Hall, an NCAA Tournament team last season, before taking on Lehigh in the second game of a four-game road swing. The trip continues south with Monmouth playing Virginia on November 19 and UNC Asheville on November 22. Three of the four teams on the road trip played in a postseason tournament, with Lehigh falling just short in the Patriot League title game. The games vs. Seton Hall, Virginia and UNC Asheville are part of the 2017 Preseason NIT, which MU is competing in for the first time since Rice’s inaugural campaign in 2011.

A two-game home stand is next for the Blue and White, taking on Penn (11/25) and Albany (11/27) at the OceanFirst Bank Center. A date with Connecticut on December 2 leads the Hawks into the final month before conference play, before returning home to play Hofstra on December 6. MU and Hofstra have not met since the 2013 season opener, an MU road victory.

As previously announced, Rice will lead his team into Madison Square Garden on December 9th to take on 2017 Elite Eight participant Kentucky. The game is part of a two-year agreement between the Hawks and John Calipari’s Wildcats, with Monmouth returning to Rupp Arena in 2018.

The schedule concludes with a pair of Ivy League opponents on the road, with the Hawks taking on the two teams who competed in last year’s Ivy League championship game. MU returns a trip to Princeton after topping the Tigers in West Long Branch a year ago, before concluding the non-league slate at Yale on December 22.

2017-18 Non-Conference Schedule

Date                      Opponent           Location

11/10                     Bucknell               OceanFirst Bank Center

11/12                     Seton Hall*         Newark, NJ

11/14                     Lehigh                   Bethlehem, PA

11/19                     Virginia*              Charlottesville, VA

11/22                     UNC Asheville* Asheville, NC

11/25                     Penn                     OceanFirst Bank Center

11/27                     Albany                  OceanFirst Bank Center

12/2                       UConn                  TBA

12/6                       Hofstra                 OceanFirst Bank Center

12/9                       Kentucky             New York, NY-Madison Square Garden

12/12                     Princeton            Princeton, NJ

12/22                     Yale                        New Haven, CT

-*Preseason NIT

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