The UMBC Retrievers will begin the college basketball season with a trip to Dallas, TX for a challenging road game against the SMU Mustangs as part of the Battle 4 Atlantis Mainland Tournament. Tip-off is scheduled for Friday, November 10 at 8:00pm EST at Moody Coliseum. The game can be viewed on ESPN3.
Last season, UMBC exceeded expectations, finishing 5th in the America East Conference with a 21-13 overall record and a 9-7 record in conference play, and advanced to the semifinals of the College Insider Postseason Tournament (CIT). UMBC suffered five departures this offseason, with two sophomores transferring out, and three seniors graduating. They welcome new JuCo transfer Max Portmann as well as incoming freshmen Dan Akin and Brandon Horvath.
SMU also exceeded expectations last season, winning the American Athletic Conference regular season and tournament titles. They finished ranked #11 in the nation in the AP Poll, and received a #6 seed in the NCAA tournament. SMU suffered four departures this offseason, with one player transferring out, one graduating, and two that were drafted to play in the NBA. They welcome new transfers Jahmal McMurray (USF), Akoy Agau (Georgetown), and Jimmy Whitt (Arkansas), as well as incoming freshmen Elijah Landrum, Ethan Chargois, Everett Ray, and William Douglas.
I’m not going to sugarcoat this one. This game should not be close, simply put. UMBC doesn’t have the personnel to match the high level of talent that SMU has. The Mustangs also have one of the top home court advantages in college basketball, going undefeated at Moody Coliseum last year. If UMBC loses by less than 20 points, they will have gone above and beyond what I expect of them.
Final Score Prediction: SMU 93, UMBC 61