UMass schedules Civic duty
By Ron Chimelis, The Springfield Union-News, 5/31/2001

SPRINGFIELD The date is set for the next University of Massachusetts men's basketball appearance at the Springfield Civic Center.

UMass will play Oregon Nov. 27, according to Civic Center general manager Stuart J. Hurwitz. The starting time for the Tuesday night game has not been set.

Last season, UMass beat Duquesne 80-69 in its first Civic Center appearance since 1995. The game drew 6,837, a turnout that topped all but one crowd at the Mullins Center in Amherst last season, the sold-out game coming against Temple.

Hurwitz said another strong turnout this year could cement the UMass-Springfield link for years to come. Oregon handed UMass a 91-76 loss in Portland, Ore., last season.

"We're hoping for a stronger and stronger relationship with UMass," Hurwitz said. "If we can give them another good house, I hope we can get a second game (in 2002-03). That's what my hope is, anyway."

Whether UMass books two Springfield games in the same season remains to be seen, but the university has already agreed to two hockey games this year Nov. 11 against Connecticut, and Nov. 20 against Vermont.

UMass athletic director Bob Marcum and other officials said they're encouraged about their relationship with Hurwitz and the Civic Center.

The Civic Center is also keeping four dates open for a 2001 Tip-Off Classic. Hurwitz said the game could be played Nov. 16, 19, 23 or 26, and is awaiting word on which teams will play in this year's Tip-Off.

Tip-Off organizers, who scrambled to find teams in 2000 before Fresno State and North Carolina State agreed to play, have been optimistic that another quality matchup will be realized.

The full UMass schedule has not been released, but will include games against Ohio State and Connecticut at the Mullins Center. Plans for a proposed opening game against Boston University have stalled, but first-year coach Steve Lappas said Tuesday the opener will be at home.

UMass will also travel to Boston College, Marshall and North Carolina State. Lappas said the North Carolina State game will be Dec. 1.

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