RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team, the defending Ohio Valley Conference Tournament champions, will play nine games this upcoming season against teams that advanced to national postseason tournaments in 2014. Head coach Jeff Neubauer released his team’s complete 2014-15 schedule today.
At least four regular season games will be played in front of a national television audience. EKU’s game at Kentucky will air live on the SEC Network at 6 p.m. ET. Three OVC games will be shown on ESPNU, beginning with Eastern’s game at Murray State on Jan. 29 at 9 p.m. ET. ESPNU broadcasts of home games against Belmont (Feb. 5) and Morehead State (Feb. 11) will begin at 9 p.m. ET as well.
The Colonels will play an exhibition game at home against Urbana University on Nov. 7. The regular season begins at home against Savannah State on Nov. 14.
EKU will open the season with three straight home games before making a two-game trip to Utah. Eastern will play at Southern Utah on Nov. 26 and then face Brigham Young University in Provo on Nov. 29. BYU will be the first of two games against teams that played in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. The Cougars were 23-12 last season.
Between home games against Valparaiso on Dec. 3 and East Tennessee on Dec. 16, the Colonels will play at Kentucky (Dec. 7) and at IUPUI (Dec. 13). Valpo went 18-16 last year and advanced to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). UK posted a 29-11 record on its way to the national championship game against Connecticut. ETSU had a 19-16 record in 2013-14 and advanced to the second round of the CIT after beating Chattanooga.
The 2014-15 schedule includes 13 games against teams that finished with winning records last season.
Eastern Kentucky will close out the 2014 calendar year with three road games. A trip to south Florida at the end of December will include games at Miami (Dec. 19) and at Florida Atlantic (Dec. 22). EKU will play at Coppin State on Dec. 30 in Baltimore. The Colonels final regular season non-conference game will be at home on Jan. 3 against South Carolina State.
The Ohio Valley Conference schedule begins with a road trip to play Tennessee-Martin (Jan. 8) and Southeast Missouri State (Jan. 10). Last season when SEMO played in Richmond, Glenn Cosey hit a last-second 35-foot shot to win the game. The shot completed a comeback from 10 points down and earned the No. 1 spot that night on SportsCenter’s Top-10 Plays. The last time the two teams played in Cape Girardeau, Cosey threw an alley-oop inbound pass to Marcus Lewis for a dunk that climbed to No. 3 on the Top-10 Plays.
Eastern’s first OVC home games will be on Jan. 15 against Eastern Illinois and Jan. 17 against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. The Colonels will close out January with four straight road games, including back-to-back games at rivals Murray State (Jan. 29) and at Morehead State (Jan. 31). The Racers finished last season with a 23-11 record after winning the CIT championship. The Eagles were 20-14 and played in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI).
Six of the team’s eight games in February will be played at home. The month begins with Belmont visiting McBrayer Arena on Feb. 5. The Bruins have won two straight OVC regular season titles and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NIT last season. This will be the first meeting between the two teams since Eastern Kentucky beat Belmont 79-73 in the 2014 OVC Tournament Championship game. Senior Corey Walden, the tournament MVP, scored 29 points, dished out seven assists and grabbed five rebounds in that game.
This will also mark the second straight season that the EKU/Belmont game in Richmond was chosen to air on ESPNU.
Morehead State makes its annual trip to Richmond on Feb. 11. The second meeting between Belmont and EKU comes in Nashville on Feb. 19. The regular season ends with home games against Jacksonville State (Feb. 26) and Tennessee Tech (Feb. 28).
The 2015 OVC Tournament is slated for March 4-7 at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. The semifinals will be televised on ESPNU and the finals will air on ESPN2.
The Colonels steamrolled through the 2014 OVC Tournament, beating three teams in three days and trailing for only 41 seconds during the entire tournament. Eastern went on to nearly upset No. 2 seed Kansas in the second round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, leading the Jayhawks with 8:55 left in the game and trailing by only three with 3:39 to go.
EKU finished the season with a 24-10 record, the second most wins in program history. With a school record 25 victories in 2012-13, the Colonels have 49 wins the last two years combined.