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GCU men’s basketball releases 2019-20 schedule

(AP Photo/Steve Marcus)

GCU men’s basketball released its 2019-20 schedule on Wednesday.

The Lopes will be attempting to reach their first NCAA Tournament in their third year of Division I postseason eligibility.

GCU’s out of conference schedule features teams from eight different conferences, including notable matchups with Illinois at GCU Arena, Liberty in the Jerry Colangelo Classic, a trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam tournament and a road game with New Mexico.

The Lopes’ season opener will be their first of 17 total home games this season, a contest against CSU San Bernardino on Oct. 30.

“We try to play the best teams that we can,” head coach Dan Majerle said in a press release.

“We’ll continue to try to get teams to come here and we’ll challenge ourselves and go play hard games on the road as much as possible. To get Illinois and Northern Iowa here is good. Hopefully, as we continue to grow as a program, we’ll be able to get more teams here.”

GCU will start its 2019-20 campaign with six straight home games, one of which is a visit from Illinois, who was ranked No. 21 nationally in a summer preseason ranking by NCAA.com.

“Illinois is going to be really good so that’s going to be a good way to start off our season in the second game,” Majerle said. “We’re excited about that.”

For the Paradise Jam tournament in late November, the Lopes will open up against Valparaiso.

“That will be a really good test for us to start with Valpo and that should be fun for our guys,” Majerle said.

GCU will play Liberty on Dec. 8 as well as Saint Mary’s-Dayton in a doubleheader at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

The Lopes will travel to Albuquerque to take on New Mexico on Dec. 17 at Dreamstyle Arena (“The Pit”) where the Lobos have an all-time winning percentage of .817.

“Going to New Mexico will be a really great atmosphere,” Majerle said. “It’ll be really fun for our guys to play in that atmosphere away from GCU Arena.”

GCU will begin WAC play on the road against CSU Bakersfield on Jan. 4, while defending conference champion New Mexico State comes to the Valley on Feb. 27.

The WAC Tournament will be from March 12-14 at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, with the winner being guaranteed an NCAA Tournament berth.

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