THE FLATS – A season-opening trip to China to play Pac-12 power UCLA, a home game in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge against Northwestern and contests against Southeastern Conference foes Georgia and Tennessee highlight a 12-game pre-conference schedule for Georgia Tech completed this week.
The slate includes two opponents that reached the NCAA Tournament in 2017, UCLA, which won 31 games and advanced to the Elite Eight before falling to Kentucky, and Northwestern, which made the field for the first time in program history and reached the round of 32 before falling to Gonzaga. Georgia, the third post-season foe, lost in the first round of the NIT to Belmont.
The 2017 Pac-12 China Game between UCLA and Georgia Tech will take place on Saturday, Nov. 11 in Shanghai, China, and will be televised live in the United States on ESPN2 at 11 a.m. Eastern time on Friday night, Nov. 10. The game is part of Pac-12 Global, an unprecedented effort to promote goodwill for the Conference and its member institutions through sport, and to provide student-athletes with a transformative cultural exchange experience. The Jackets will travel to China on Nov. 4 and return to Atlanta following the game on Nov. 11. Tech and UCLA will be meeting for the fifth time. The Bruins have won three of the previous four contests, most recently in the championship game of the 2006 Maui Invitational.
Following Tech’s return and an eight-day layoff, the Yellow Jackets will play six straight games at McCamish Pavilion, four of them as part of the Ramblin’ Wreck Showcase sponsored by BD Global Sports. The multi-team event, which counts as one game toward the NCAA limit of 31, includes Bethune-Cookman on Nov. 19, Texas-Rio Grande Valley on Nov. 22, North Texas on Nov. 24 and Grambling State on Dec. 1.
In the midst of the Ramblin’ Wreck Showcase, the Yellow Jackets will host Northwestern in the 19th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge series, the fourth meeting between the two teams in the annual inter-conference series and the second one to take place in Atlanta. It is also Tech’s first Big Ten/ACC Challenge game at home since the Jackets defeated Illinois in 2013. Tech is 4-3 in Big Ten/ACC Challenge home games.
Tech completes the six-game homestand with a Dec. 3 meeting against Tennessee, the third meeting in a four-game contract between the former SEC rivals. Each team has won at home in the series thus far, with the Jackets edging the Vols, 69-67, in 2015 at McCamish Pavilion. The Yellow Jackets follow the homestand with a visit Wofford on Dec. 6 to complete a three-game contract with the Terriers, who are opening their new arena, the Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium.
Following a break for fall semester final exams, Tech entertains Florida A&M at McCamish Pavilion before traveling to Athens for the annual rivalry game against Georgia on Dec. 19. The Jackets then return home to entertain Wright State (Dec. 22) and Coppin State (Dec. 27) before Atlantic Coast Conference play begins in late December.
Like last season, Tech will schedule a 13th non-conference game to fill the bye date in its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule after the conference slate is set. The Yellow Jackets also have set their pre-season exhibition game, which will be Nov. 2 against Faulkner University at McCamish Pavilion.
Season ticket sales for head coach Josh Pastner’s second season on the Flats have already surpassed the final tally for the 2016-17 campaign, in which the Yellow Jackets won 21 games, a program-record 17 of those at home, and advanced to the championship game of the National Invitation Tournament. Tech’s ACC schedule features home-and-away contests against Clemson, Notre Dame, Virginia and Wake Forest. The Yellow Jackets also host Duke, Miami, NC State, Syracuse and Virginia Tech, and will travel to Boston College, Florida State, Louisville, North Carolina and Pittsburgh.
Season ticket packages for the Yellow Jackets’ sixth season in McCamish Pavilion start at less than $20 per game. Purchasing season tickets guarantee patrons the lowest price per game for all home games. Season ticket holder benefits include the exclusive ticket exchange program, an exclusive season ticket holder event with Coach Pastner and the team, complimentary guest tickets to a non-conference game (game TBD) and more.
The full 2017-18 schedule, including dates for conference games, tip times and television, will be announced in late August or early September.
TECH’S PRE-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE FOR 2017-18
Nov. 10 vs. UCLA (at Beijing, China)
UCLA leads 3-1, first meeting since 2016 in Maui Invitational, Bruins went 31-5, 15-3 in Pac-12, NCAA Elite Eight
Nov. 19 vs. Bethune-Cookman (Ramblin’ Wreck Showcase, McCamish Pavilion)
Tech leads 1-0, first meeting since 2005, Wildcats went 10-22, 6-10 in the MEAC
Nov. 22 vs. Texas-Rio Grande Valley (Ramblin’ Wreck Showcase, McCamish Pavilion)
Tech leads 1-0, first meeting since 1975 (then known as Texas-Pan American), Varqueros went 10-22, 2-12 in the WAC
Nov. 24 vs. North Texas (Ramblin’ Wreck Showcase, McCamish Pavilion)
Tech leads 1-0, first meeting since 1997, Mean Green went 8-22, 2-16 in Conference USA
Nov. 28 vs. Northwestern (Big Ten/ACC Challenge, McCamish Pavilion)
NW leads 2-1, fourth meeting in Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Wildcats made first-ever NCAA Tournament in 2017
Dec. 1 vs. Grambling State (Ramblin’ Wreck Showcase, McCamish Pavilion)
Tech leads 1-0, only previous meeting in 1999 Great Alaska Shootout, Tigers went 16-17 (10-8 in SWAC) last year
Dec. 3 vs. Tennessee (McCamish Pavilion)
Vols (16-16, 8-10 SEC in 2017) lead 43-28, third game of four-game series, teams have split first two games
Dec. 6 at Wofford (Spartanburg, S.C.)
Tech leads 14-2, Jackets have beaten Terriers (16-17, 10-8 SoCon in 2017) at home each of last two years
Dec. 17 vs. Florida A&M (McCamish Pavilion)
Tech leads 6-0, first meeting since 2011, Rattlers went 7-23 (5-11 in MEAC) last year
Dec. 19 at Georgia (Athens, Ga.)
Tech leads 105-88, Bulldogs (19-15, 9-9 SEC, NIT in 2017) have won the last two meetings
Dec. 22 vs. Wright State (McCamish Pavilion)
First meeting, Raiders went 20-12, 11-7 in the Horizon League (5th place) in 2017
Dec. 27 vs. Coppin State (McCamish Pavilion)
First meeting, Eagles went 7-25 (7-9 in MEAC) last year
GEORGIA TECH ACC BREAKDOWN
Home/Road: Clemson, Notre Dame, Virginia, Wake Forest
Home: Duke, Miami, NC State, Syracuse, Virginia Tech
Road: Boston College, Florida State, North Carolina, Louisville, Pittsburgh