Middle Tennessee men’s basketball has finalized its 2022-23 schedule. The 31-game schedule features 20 Conference USA matchups and 11 nonconference contests, including nine games against Division I opponents that finished last season with an average NET ranking of 92. Middle Tennessee will play 14 home games in its 50th season at the Murphy Center, where it holds a 17-game winning streak.
“This year’s nonconference slate will be a difficult one, but it will prepare us for the challenges of Conference USA play,” head coach Nick McDevitt said. “We will face numerous teams that were either conference champions or runners-up a season ago, most of which will be away from Murfreesboro. That will prove to be a constant test for our team.”
MTSU’s Division I nonconference schedule includes games against Chattanooga and Murray State at the Murphy Center, contests at Winthrop, Missouri State, St. Bonaventure and Belmont, and neutral site tilts with Hofstra, Stephen F. Austin and Montana State at the Northern Classic in Montreal.
The nonconference slate features four teams that earned at least a share of their conference’s regular season championships and three more that were runners-up. Murray State, Chattanooga, Stephen F. Austin and Montana State each earned conference championships. Missouri State and Belmont were second in the Missouri Valley and Ohio Valley, respectively. Winthrop was a runner-up twice over, finishing the regular season with the second-best record in the Big South before falling in the title game of the conference tournament. Additionally, Hofstra finished third in the Colonial Athletic Association behind co-champions UNC Wilmington and Towson. St. Bonaventure earned a postseason bid, participating in the NIT.
None of the nine DI nonconference opponents finished outside the top 150 in the NET rankings, combining to go 222-78, good for a .740 winning percentage.
The Blue Raiders open the season November 7 with a morning tipoff against Brescia, marking the return of Education Day to the Murphy Center. The first road trip of the season takes MTSU to Rock Hill, S.C., to take on Winthrop in the return game of a home-and-home series that began in 2021-22.
The Blue Raiders return home November 15 to take on Rice in the earliest conference game by calendar date in program history. MTSU has defeated the Owls in four of the five contests between the two teams held at the Glass House.
The Blue Raiders head to Springfield, Mo., on November 19 to take on Missouri State. The game will be MTSU’s second-ever meeting with the Bears and the first since 2008.
The week of Thanksgiving, Middle Tennessee will head north of the border for the Northern Classic, a multi-team event held at Place Bell in Montreal, Quebec. The Northern Classic pits MTSU against Hofstra, Stephen F. Austin and Montana State, three teams that finished in the top 130 of the 2021-22 NET Ratings. The Blue Raiders close out the month of November with a road game at St. Bonaventure.
Middle Tennessee hosts Chattanooga on December 15 as the Blue Raiders celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Murphy Center. The December nonconference schedule also features games at Belmont on the 10th and at home against Murray State on the December 21.
The Blue Raiders will play a home-and-home series with every C-USA opponent, resulting in their most conference games in a season since 2012-13. Middle Tennessee is coming off a 13-5 performance in C-USA, its best conference mark in five years.
A New Year’s Eve clash with Western Kentucky at the Murphy Center headlines the home conference schedule. North Texas makes its first visit to Murfreesboro since 2020 on January 7.
The Blue Raiders play their first back-to-back C-USA home games on January 16 and 19 against UAB and Charlotte, respectively. Middle Tennessee will look to avenge a triple overtime loss to the Blazers in the semifinals of the 2022 C-USA Tournament. The 49ers were the first two opponents of the Blue Raiders’ current 17-game win streak on home hardwood and have never won in Murfreesboro.
After three straight away games, MTSU kicks off February with contests on February 2 and 4 against UTEP and UTSA, teams that are a combined 2-10 all-time at the Murphy Center. Two weeks later comes a home weekend with Florida Atlantic and FIU. The Blue Raiders are 24-8 all-time on their home floor against the Owls and Panthers after sweeping the season series from each team in 2021-22.
The final home game on the schedule pits Middle Tennessee against LA Tech on February 25, the Bulldogs’ first appearance in the Glass House since January 23, 2020. A trip to the Lone Star State takes the Blue Raiders to North Texas and UTEP to wrap up the regular season.
The Blue Raiders return 11 players from the 2021-22 season. McDevitt has brought in two junior college guards in Trevon Smith and Jestin Porter and a true freshman in Tre Green to bolster the lineup.