What You Need to Know:
* Georgia State will play a 13-game non-conference schedule before opening Sun Belt play in January.
* The Panthers will play as many as six 2018 NCAA Tournament teams during non-conference play, believed to be tied for the most in the nation.
* Among the highlights to the schedule is a trip to the Cayman Islands Classic and renewing a rivalry with in-state foe Mercer.
ATLANTA – With as many as six non-conference games against 2018 NCAA Tournament opponents on the schedule, Georgia State men’s basketball head coach Ron Hunter announced an exciting and challenging 13-game schedule on Tuesday. Among the highlights is an appearance in the Cayman Islands Classic and renewing the in-state rivalry with Mercer.
Coming off a fifth-straight winning season - tied for the most in program history, Sun Belt Conference tournament title and second NCAA Tournament appearance in four years, the Panthers will open the season on Nov. 6 hosting East Tennessee State, an NCAA Tournament team from two years ago.
Following a Nov. 9, trip to Montana, an NCAA Tournament team from a year ago, the Panthers will return home to face Mercer on Nov. 13. It will mark the first time since 2012 the two teams have squared off. Georgia State is 16-3 against Mercer in their last 19 match-ups.
Georgia State will spend Thanksgiving week in the Cayman Islands, squaring off against as many as three NCAA Tournament teams from last year. The tournament will open on Nov. 19 facing St. Bonaventure. A day later, the Panthers will face either Boise State or Creighton. Georgia State will close out the tournament playing either Clemson, Georgia, Akron, or Illinois State.
Georgia State is guaranteed four non-conference match-ups against teams that played in the NCAA Tournament last year with potentially two more in the Cayman Islands Classic. That total is believed to be tied for the most of any school in the nation with several programs yet to announce their schedules.
The Panthers stretch of six-straight games away from home will continue at Tulane for a Wednesday afternoon affair, followed by a trip to Liberty on Dec. 1. Georgia State will close out the stretch at Alabama on Dec. 4. It will mark the third time facing the Crimson Tide and second under Hunter.
Georgia State will return home to face Chattanooga on Dec. 12, before making a trip to the “Little Apple” to face Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan. The Panthers played a home-and-home series with the Wildcats in in 1998 and 1999.
The Panthers will renew a rivalry with former CAA foe UNC Wilmington on Dec. 19, before closing out the non-conference portion of the schedule on Dec. 29 against Middle Georgia State.
“Coming off our NCAA Tournament appearance and with so many returners, we wanted to challenge ourselves this year,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “We have a veteran ball club that understands the challenges of playing on the road against top competition.
“We also wanted to try to put together the best home schedule that we could and bringing Mercer and UNC Wilmington in the mix we believe helps do that.”
Sun Belt play opens Jan. 3, as the Panthers travel to face UT Arlington. Georgia State topped the Mavericks in the Sun Belt Championship game last year to advance to the NCAA Tournament.
Georgia State will play one exhibition game this year facing Georgia College on Nov. 1.
Season tickets for the 2018-19 season are now available by visiting GeorgiaStateSports.com/Tix or by calling 404-413-4020.