FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
The Yellow Jackets will face nine opponents that participated in the 2010 NCAA Tournament, opening with Mid-American Conference Tournament Champion Kent State for a three-game weekend series, Feb. 18-20, at Russ Chandler Stadium. Tech will play six of those nine teams at home on the Flats.
“I think our schedule is one of the toughest we’ve had in a long time,” head coach Danny Hall said. “With us being inexperienced, position player-wise, I think this is really going to be a challenging year.”
Five of the nine NCAA participants recorded 40 or more wins one year ago, while Miami and Virginia appeared in a Super Regional, and Clemson advanced to the College World Series.
The non-conference weekend home slate also includes Big East members St. John’s (Feb. 25-27) and Rutgers (Mar. 4-6). The team will travel to Chicago, May 7-9, for the back end of a home-and-home with Horizon League opponent Illinois-Chicago.
“I mean you look at Kent State, where I used to coach, and Scott Strickland’s told me it’s the best team he’s ever had there,” Hall added. “They have a pitcher projected first round pick that we’ll see on Friday, and you’ve got St. John’s who played in the NCAA Regionals deep last year. You’ve got a very good Rutgers team and the ACC is probably as wide open as it has ever been.”
The Jackets will open Atlantic Coast Conference play at home against Maryland on March 11, one of five home conference series in 2011. NC State (March 18-20), Virginia (Apr. 8-10), Boston College (Apr. 22-24) and North Carolina (May 13-15) also will visit Russ Chandler Stadium.
Tech will travel to Miami (March 25-27), Duke (Apr. 1-3), Wake Forest (Apr. 15-17) and Clemson (Apr. 29-May 1) before concluding with a three-game series at Virginia Tech May 19-21.
The mid-week schedule is filled with in-state teams, including a three-game series with rival Georgia. The Jackets and the Bulldogs square off March 22 in Athens and April 12 in Atlanta, before concluding the series with the annual Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta contest at Turner Field Apr. 26.
“I think it is tough anytime you play Georgia, Georgia Southern, Kennesaw State and Mercer — who has the best team they’ve had in a long time — so I think that presents tremendous challenges for us. I’m sure Georgia will rebound this year, and rebound strong.”
The 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament will take place May 25-29 in Durham, N.C. The five-day tournament will be held at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
“I really like the venue in Durham, I think its great- the Durham Bulls athletic venue. Even though it’s a little short in left field I think it’s more fair than the ballpark in Greensboro. The people in Greensboro did a great job of hosting last season, but I just think ballpark wise the Durham Bulls’ park is a nice venue to play in.”