ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The LSUA men’s basketball team has its sights set on a return trip to Kansas City and the NAIA National Championship Tournament, releasing its 2019-20 schedule.
“It seems like each season our schedule gets tougher and tougher,” said LSUA head coach Larry Cordaro, who is entering his sixth season at the helm of the Generals. “We have set up the most rigorous schedule we believe in the entire country.”
The Generals start out quickly, opening the season at home on October 30th against an NAIA Fab Four team from a season ago as the William Carey Crusaders come to The Fort. That’s followed by a visit by another perennial tournament participant, Dillard, on November 3rd.
LSUA then heads out for two games in Talladega, Alabama at the Talladega College Classic. Day one of the Talladega Classic sees a rematch of last year’s NAIA Tournament First Round match-up as the Generals take on the Central Baptist Mustangs on November 8th. The next day, the Generals take one of their fellow one-seeds in last year’s NAIA Tournament bracket, the Talladega Tornadoes. The three-game road trip end on November 10th at Southeastern Baptist College.
Back home on November 16th, the Generals host a fellow NAIA Quarterfinalist from last season as the Science & Arts Drovers come to The Fort. LSUA then heads to New Orleans for a date with the SUNO Knights on November 23rd.
In the final stretch before the start of conference play, the Generals head to Panama City, Florida for three days at the inaugural Battle at the Beach Tournament, pitting some of the best teams in the NAIA, from November 29th to December 1st.
“With the amount of tournament and top-caliber teams on our schedule, we should be battle-tested going into RRAC play,” continued Cordaro.
The Red River Athletic Conference portion of the schedule begins on December 5th at Texas College and is followed two days later with a game at Jarvis Christian. The RRAC home opener is on December 12th against conference newcomer Texas A&M-Texarkana, before a big home match-up with a Wiley team that made it to the second round of last year’s NAIA Tournament on December 14th.
Then starts a four-game road trip, kicking off with two more games against NAIA Tournament teams. LSUA heads back to the Crescent City on December 17th for a match-up with another team that made it out of the first round of last year’s NAIA Tournament, Loyola, following by the return game against William Carey to close out 2019.
The whole of the 2020 portion of the schedule is focused on the rest of the Red River Athletic Conference, opening with road games at Huston-Tillotson on January 9th and Our Lady of the Lake on January 11th.
Then it’s back home for the big rivalry game against LSU Shreveport, who also advanced to the second round in Kansas City a season ago, on January 16th. The first half of conference play concludes with road games at Paul Quinn on January 23rd and Southwest on January 25th.
Now with a game played against the entirety of the RRAC, the back half of conference play begins with a pair of home games, taking on Texas College on January 30th and Jarvis Christian on February 1st.
After taking on Texas A&M-Texarkana and Wiley on the road, the Generals start a four of five game stretch at home to close out the season. That stretch begins with Huston-Tillotson coming to The Fort on February 13th and Our Lady of the Lake on February 15th. The final road game of the season is on February 22nd at LSU Shreveport. The regular season concludes with home games against Paul Quinn on February 27th and Senior Day against Southwest on February 29th.
“Our players have been working hard these past six month since our final game in Kansas City,” Cordaro continued. “Hopefully our stiff tests out of conference and hard work will help propel us into the RRAC and NAIA Tournaments. We only have 12 home games this season, so our guys will be road tested because no one in the NAIA wins a national championship on their home court. We know when we are home we see a lot of our fans because we know The Fort is one of the toughest and best places to play in all of college basketball.”
The RRAC Tournament returns to Alexandria for the first time since 2017 when it’s played at the Rapides Parish Coliseum from March 5th – 7th. The NAIA National Championship Tournament will be back at the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri from March 18th – 24th when a national champion is crowned.
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