CLEVELAND -- The Ohio men's basketball program's 18-game 2019 Mid-American Conference schedule was announced today by the league office.
The Bobcats will play nine league home games at the Convocation Center and nine conference games away from Athens. Ohio will take on each of its five East Division rivals twice -- once at home and once on the road. The Bobcats will play each of the six MAC West teams at least once and will square off against both Ball State and Northern Illinois twice -- once at home and once on the road.
Ohio's 2019 MAC slate begins at home for the third time under fifth-year head coach Saul Phillips as Northern Illinois (Jan. 5) visits the Convo. The Bobcats and the Huskies will be playing each other in the league opener for the third time in five years and second time at the Convo during that span. Ohio topped Northern Illinois, 78-68, at the Convo last season in the lone meeting between the two squads. The Bobcats hit the road for their next two games with trips to Bowling Green (Jan. 8) and Ball State (Jan. 12) before returning to Athens to play host to Kent State (Jan. 15). Ohio wraps up January with a road game at Toledo (Jan. 19), back-to-back home contests against Western Michigan (Jan. 22) and Ball State (Jan. 26) and a visit to Northern Illinois (Jan. 29).
The second month of the conference schedule starts with a showdown against Akron (Feb. 2) at the Convo. In the Zips' last trip to Athens, then-junior guard Jordan Dartis (Newark, Ohio) drilled 10 three-pointers to finish with a career-high 38 points in a dominant 99-75 victory for the Bobcats. After a bye date on Feb. 5, Ohio travels to Oxford, Ohio, to face archrival Miami (Feb. 9). The remainder of the Bobcats' February schedule includes a home date against Eastern Michigan (Feb. 12), back-to-back road games at Central Michigan (Feb. 16) and Buffalo (Feb. 19), a matchup against Bowling Green (Feb. 23) at the Convo and a trip to Kent State (March 26).
March opens with Ohio visiting Akron (Feb. 2) in its final road game of the regular season before wrapping things up with home games against Buffalo (March 5) and Miami (March 8). The Bobcats have won each of the last seven regular season games against the RedHawks -- including a 92-87 overtime thriller at the Convo last year.
This year's MAC Men's Basketball Tournament will begin Monday, March 11th with first round games on campus before moving to Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena (March 14-16). The MAC Men's Basketball Semifinal games will once again air on CBS Sports Network, while the Championship Game will be played on Saturday, March 16th (Time TBA, ESPN2).
The non-conference portion of Ohio's 2018-19 schedule will be announced at a later date, as will tip-off times and television, streaming and radio information. Call 1-800-575-CATS (2287) for ticket information.
Ohio has won 67 games over the past four seasons under Phillips and made back-to-back MAC Tournament semifinal appearances in 2016 and '17. The Bobcats advanced to the College Basketball Invitational Semifinals in 2016. Ohio has tallied 10 All-MAC selections over the last four years under Phillips. Returning for the Bobcats in 2018-19 will be Dartis – an All-MAC Honorable Mention selection each of the past two seasons – as well as guard Teyvion Kirk (Joilet, Ill.), who garnered MAC All-Freshman Team honors in 2017-18. Also returning for Ohio next season is forward Jason Carter (Johnstown, Ohio), who missed all but three games last year due to injury after earning a spot on the MAC All-Freshman Team in 2016-17.