MUNCIE, Ind. - Ball State men's basketball head coach Billy Taylor announced the Cardinals' 16-game Mid-American Conference schedule for the 2010-11 season. Ball State returns nine letterwinners from last season's 15-15 team and welcome in a strong group of seven newcomers to the squad.
Ball State will play a home-and-home series against each team from the MAC West Division (NIU, Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan and Toledo) while playing each team from the MAC East Division once. The Cardinals will host Kent State, Ohio and Buffalo from the MAC East while travelling to Miami, Bowling Green and Akron.
"The MAC schedule is really balanced for us this year," Taylor said. "Our schedule is spaced out more evenly this year compared to past years and will allow each team to prepare and put their best foot forward each time on the floor. We host defending MAC regular season champion Kent State and defending MAC Tournament champion Ohio at Worthen Arena. The MAC race is always very tight and it is critical to defend your own court."
The 16-game Mid-American Conference schedule begins Jan. 8 when the Cardinals travel to DeKalb, Ill., to face the Northern Illinois Huskies. Ball State opens the home portion of the MAC slate Jan. 12 when it hosts rival Western Michigan. The Cardinals will wrap up the first run through the MAC West Division with Central Michigan (Jan. 15) at home before travelling to Eastern Michigan (Jan. 19) and Toledo (Jan. 22).
The Cardinals begin crossover play Jan. 27 when they host defending MAC regular season champion Kent State. BSU will also host defending MAC Tournament champion Ohio Jan. 29. Ball State wraps up inter-divisional play at Miami (Feb. 1), against Buffalo (Feb. 5), at Bowling Green (Feb. 9) and at Akron (Feb. 12). Last season, the Cardinals posted a MAC West Division best 4-2 record against MAC East Division foes.
Ball State's second time through its division will see road games at Central Michigan (Feb. 26) and Western Michigan (Mar. 2). The Cardinals will play home games against Toledo (Feb. 15) and Eastern Michigan (Feb. 23) before wrapping up the 2010-11 regular season at home against Northern Illinois either March 4 or 5. The game is part of the ESPN "Pick-Em" package which allows the final game to be chosen for television at a later date.
The 2011 Mid-American Conference Tournament will begin March 7/8 with first round contests as campus sites. The teams advancing past the first round will head to Cleveland, Ohio, March 10-12 for the conclusion of the MAC Tournament at Quicken Loans Arena.
Ball State will release the non-conference schedule at a later date.