The area men's basketball season begins in earnest this weekend. Loyola opens at home tomorrow (2 p.m.) against George Washington. The Colonials have a new coach in Mike Jarvis, and he has a majority of the players back from a team that went 14-17 last year, GW's best finish in five years.
Maryland opens Monday, hosting defending East Coast Conference champion Towson State, and the only other state Division I to begin at home is Maryland-Eastern Shore, which plays St. Francis (N.Y.) tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. The Terriers were 9-18 last year, their first under former Loyola assistant Rich Zvosec.
Four state teams visit teams that went to the NCAA tournament last year. Tomorrow, Towson State and Mount St. Mary's travel to Ohio to take on Midwestern Collegiate Conference powers.
The Tigers are at defending MCC champion Dayton, which was eliminated by Arkansas in the second round of last year's NCAA tournament.
The Mount will be in Cincinnati to play Xavier, which is seeking its sixth straight trip to the NCAAs. The Musketeers beat Georgetown in last year's tournament, but lost to Texas in the round of 16.
Also tomorrow, UMBC is at Clemson, another round of 16 team that is coming off of one of its best seasons ever. Sean Tyson, a senior forward from Dunbar, is supposed to start for Clemson. Morgan State is Providence's first-round opponent in the Fleet Classic tonight. The Friars were one of six Big East Conference teams in the NCAA tournament.
Defending Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion Coppin State opens tomorrow at Tulsa, a Missouri Valley Conference member that was 17-13 last year. Navy goes to Fordham, one of the favorites in the Patriot League.