Non-conference schedule taking shape

Ohio men’s basketball head coach Jeff Boals answers questions during his introductory press conference on Monday, March 18, 2019 in the Convocation Center. Ohio’s non-conference schedule in 2019-20 will include a trip to Myrtle Beach for a three-game tournament.

Note: This story appears in the Sunday, July 14 newspaper on Page B1.

A good chunk of the Ohio University men’s basketball non-conference schedule was set this week.

The Bobcats will participate in the 2019 Myrtle Beach Invitational in late November at the HTC Center in Conway, S.C.

Ohio will play three games over four days in the annual event.

The Myrtle Beach Invitational field will have three NCAA Tournament teams from 2019, and features one representative each from eight Division I conferences.

Ohio will open the tournament on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 4:30 p.m. against Baylor. The game will be televised on ESPN2. Baylor, 20-14 last season, was an at-large selection for the NCAA Tournament in March.

Rounding out Ohio’s half of the eight-team bracket will be Utah (17-14, PAC 12) and host school Coastal Carolina (17-17, Sun Belt). The other half of the bracket features three-time defending Big East champion Villanova (26-10) against Middle Tennessee State (11-21, Conference USA), and Mississippi State (23-11, SEC) against Tulane (4-27, AAC). Villanova and Mississippi State were both NCAA Tournament teams in 2019.

Ohio (14-17) will be under the direction of first-year head coach Jeff Boals, and will have seven newcomers on the roster.

The Myrtle Beach Invitational is owned and operated by ESPN, and all 12 games of the tournament will be televised on either ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPNews.

The tournament represents a quarter of the Bobcats’ 2019 non-conference schedule. Ohio has yet to announce the full slate of games, which should number from 11-12 total. But there are a few other games that are on the schedule as the second part of previously signed home-and-home series.

Ohio will host Big Ten power Purdue (26-10), a NCAA Tournament regional semifinalist last spring, in the Convocation Center on Dec. 17. Purdue beat the Bobcats last year in Indiana.

Ohio is also on the hook for a road game at Iona (17-16, NCAA Tournament last year), and will host Detroit (11-20, Horizon League) in the Convo.

Boals, during caravan stops with Ohio boosters this spring, mentioned several times that Ohio will also play a true road game at Villanova — apart from the tournament — this season.

Including that slate of games, that leaves Ohio with roughly four or five games in the non-conference schedule that have not yet announced or finalized. Boals indicated last month that the bulk of those contests would fall under the ‘buy’ category, with Ohio paying a low major opponent to come to Athens to play a single game.

2019 Myrtle Beach


at HTC Center, Conway, S.C.

Thursday, Nov. 21

Game 1 — Villanova vs. Middle Tennessee, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU)

Game 2 — Mississippi State vs. Tulane, 1:30/2 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU)

Game 3 — Ohio vs. Baylor, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Game 4 — Utah vs. Coastal Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPNU/ESPNews)

Friday, Nov. 22

Game 5 — Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 12 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU)

Game 6 — Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 2/2:30 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU)

Game 7 — Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 4:30/5 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU)

Game 8 — Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 7/7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

Sunday, Nov. 24

Game 9 — Game 5 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 10:30 a.m./1 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU)

Game 10 — Game 6 loser vs. Game 7 loser, 10:30 a.m./1 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU)

Game 11 — Game 6 winner vs. Game 7 winner (championship), 5 p.m. (ESPN)

Game 12 — Game 5 loser vs. Game 8 loser, 7:30 p.. (ESPNews).

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