FLORENCE, Ala. — University of North Alabama men's basketball head coach Tony Pujol has announced the 2021-22 schedule, which includes 13 home dates, road trips to Mississippi State, Auburn, Central Florida and Gonzaga as well as a spot in the 2021 ASUN/MAAC Challenge at Walt Disney World's Wide World of Sports Complex.
"I'm excited about this year's schedule," said Pujol, who is leading North Alabama into its fourth-and-final season of the transition to the Division I level. "The opportunity to challenge our student-athletes against some of the top Power 5 programs in the country has become a staple of our program. The challenges that those programs will present will help us prepare for an extremely challenging ASUN schedule. We are also very thankful and grateful to be one of two ASUN teams chosen to represent our league on the national stage in the ASUN/MAAC Challenge."
UNA will open the season on Nov. 10 at Mississippi State. Tip-off time has not yet been set. The Lions will also play at the University of the Virgin Islands on Nov. 13 before traveling to Kissimmee, Fla., for the ASUN/MAAC Challenge. North Alabama is set to take on Manhattan at 6:30 p.m. (CST) on Nov. 19 before facing Iona at 7:30 the following evening. Both games will be played at the HP Field House and are slated to be broadcast on the ESPN3 platform.
North Alabama's 2021 home opener is set for Nov. 23, when the Lions host Oakwood. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. at Flowers Hall. After a road game at Alabama State, UNA will host three straight home games against Mississippi Valley (12/1), Carver College (12/5) and Alabama A&M (12/8).
Three of the next four games will be on the road before conference play begins. The Lions will travel to Auburn to face the Tigers on Dec. 14. Following a home game against Southeastern Baptist on Dec. 18, UNA will play road games at Central Florida on Dec. 22 and last year's NCAA Tournament runner-up Gonzaga on Dec. 28.
ASUN Conference play begins Jan. 4 with a road game at Lipscomb. The home-and-home league schedule includes new conference members Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky and Jacksonville State. The 12 conference squads are divided into two divisions with each team playing 16-games against ASUN opponents.
This East Division consists of FGCU, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Liberty, North Florida and Stetson while Bellarmine, Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Lipscomb and North Alabama make up the West Division. Each program is scheduled to face the five schools in their respective division twice as well as one matchup against each team in the opposite division from Jan. 22-Feb. 9.