CROOKSTON, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Crookston men’s basketball program officially released their 2017-18 schedule Fri., Aug. 25. Their slate features a 22-game Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference schedule, including 11 games at Lysaker Gymnasium. In addition, the U of M Crookston will play five non-conference games including three at home.
“I think this year’s schedule has a little bit of everything, with non-conference games that will put us to the test and an always difficult schedule in the NSIC” said Head Coach Dan Weisse.
Minnesota Crookston will lift the lid on the season with an exhibition Nov. 4 against Drake University, an NCAA Division I foe in Des Moines, Iowa. The game will be at 1 p.m. The Bulldogs are led by first-year head coach Niko Medved and are coming off a 7-24 mark last season.
“We open up the season with an exhibition against a Division I opponent in Drake,” Weisse said. “It will be a nice experience for our players to play in that environment and good for Minnesota Crookston to get some publicity doing it.”
The Golden Eagles will play their first regular-season games at the Arkansas Tech University Tournament in Russellville, Ark. They will play the Wonder Boys of Arkansas Tech at 7 p.m. Nov. 10. They went 21-8 last season on their way to a NCAA Tournament berth. Minnesota Crookston will continue play in the tournament Nov. 11 at 6 p.m. as they face University of Arkansas at Monticello. The Weevils went 23-7 last season, advancing to the NCAA Tournament where they lost in the first round to Augustana University.
“With our non-conference schedule, we are always looking to challenge our players and get us ready for the conference season,” Weisse said. “With that, I think there is no better way to do that then by facing two teams that made the NCAA tournament last season in Arkansas Tech and Arkansas-Monticello.”
Minnesota Crookston continues their non-conference slate Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. at Lysaker Gymnasium against Oak Hills Christian College out of Bemidji, Minn. The game will mark the home opener for the Golden Eagles. The Wolfpack fell to the U of M Crookston 83-37 last season.
The Golden Eagles will then host NSIC foe University of Sioux Falls in a non-conference game Nov. 18 at 3:30 p.m.
“We are excited to play a non-conference game against an NSIC opponent in Sioux Falls,” Weisse said. “We wanted to bolster our scheduling a bit and because we only play USF once a year, us coaches got together and thought it would be a good idea to play them in a non-conference game.”
Minnesota Crookston will trek to University of Jamestown Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. and face-off in the brand new Newman Arena. The Jimmies posted an 18-14 mark last season. The U of M Crookston will wrap up non-conference play Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. at home versus Mayville State University. The Comets are coming off a 9-18 mark last season.
“We also make a trip to Jamestown in their new arena and host Mayville State,” Weisse said. “It is good to play local teams and there is no question we will get those team's best shots.”
The U of M Crookston will open up their NSIC slate Nov. 25 at 3 p.m. against Bemidji State at Lysaker Gymnasium. They will also take on the Beavers Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. in Bemidji, Minn. Bemidji State went 10-18 last season. Minnesota Crookston split the season series with the Beavers, taking the game at Lysaker Gymnasium 82-81.
St. Cloud State
The Golden Eagles will take on the Huskies Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. at Lysaker Gymnasium and Jan. 6 at 6 p.m. in St. Cloud, Minn. St. Cloud State is coming off a 19-14 record during the 2016-17 season.
Minnesota Crookston will face Minnesota Duluth Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. at Lysaker Gymnasium and Jan. 5 at 8 p.m. in Duluth, Minn. The Bulldogs posted a 4-25 mark last season.
The Golden Eagles take on Minnesota State University Moorhead at 8 p.m. Dec. 8 in Moorhead, Minn., and Feb. 10 at 6 p.m. at Lysaker Gymnasium. The Dragons are coming off a 24-6 record and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Minnesota Crookston will face Northern State University Dec. 9 at 6 p.m. in Aberdeen, S.D., and Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. at Lysaker Gymnasium. The Wolves were 22-8 last season.
The Golden Eagles will play a single-game against Winona State University right out of their holiday break Dec. 30 at 3:30 p.m. at Lysaker Gymnasium. The Warriors are coming off a 11-16 mark last season.
Minnesota Crookston will take on Upper Iowa University in a New Year’s Eve contest Dec. 31 at 3:30 p.m. at Lysaker Gymnasium. The Peacocks finished last season with a 22-11 mark and ended U of M Crookston’s season in a hard-fought game in Fayette, Iowa in the first round of the NSIC/Sanford Health Tournament.
Southwest Minnesota State
The Golden Eagles will take on Southwest Minnesota State University Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. in Marshall, Minn. The game is part of Midco Sports Network’s extended NSIC basketball coverage and will be aired as part of a double-header with the women’s basketball team. The Mustangs posted a 28-6 mark last season on their way to the NCAA Tournament, where they advanced to the finals of the NCAA Central Regional before losing to Northwest Missouri State University.
Minnesota Crookston will face University of Sioux Falls for the second time on the season Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. in Sioux Falls, S.D., after playing them in non-conference. The Cougars posted a 15-17 mark last season.
The Golden Eagles will take on NSIC North foe University of Mary Jan. 19 at 8 p.m. at Lysaker Gymnasium and Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. in Bismarck, N.D. The Marauders went 12-17 last season.
Minnesota Crookston will face Minot State University Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. at Lysaker Gymnasium and Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. in Minot, N.D. The Beavers posted a 14-15 record last season.
The Golden Eagles will face Minnesota State University, Mankato in a single game Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. in Mankato, Minn. The Mavericks went 21-10 last season.
Minnesota Crookston will head to St. Paul, Minn., to face Concordia University-St. Paul Jan. 27 at 6 p.m. The Golden Bears went 6-25 last season.
Minnesota Crookston will host Augustana University Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. in Crookston, Minn. The Vikings posted a 24-9 mark en route to an NCAA Tournament berth. They were eliminated in the second round by eventual National Champion Northwest Missouri State University.
The Golden Eagles will take on Wayne State College Feb. 3 at 6 p.m. at Lysaker Gymnasium. The Wildcats went 10-19 last season.