Men's Basketball

UTA’s non-conference schedule is loaded: ‘We want to take our program to another level’

Chris Ogden will have a chance to prove himself as the right man to lead the UT-Arlington men’s basketball team early on in his tenure.

UTA announced its non-conference schedule on Tuesday and it features games against big-time basketball programs such as Indiana and Gonzaga. They’ll also make trips to perennial NCAA tournament contenders such as Arkansas, Tulsa, Missouri and Texas.

The most notable team making the trip to Arlington is Northern Iowa, a mid-major that has been a “Cinderella” team in recent years.

“We want to take our program to another level,” Ogden said in a news release. “What has been done before us has been great, and we are just trying to build upon it. We want a very recognizable schedule and want to play against people that we want to become as we strive for greatness. We put the schedule together with that in mind and couldn’t be more excited to have those challenges to have us prepared to play deep in March.”

Ogden, a former Texas and Texas Tech assistant, took over a program after the school parted ways with longtime coach Scott Cross. Cross, now an assistant at TCU, was fired despite winning more than 20 games in each of the last three seasons.

But this non-conference schedule gives Ogden a chance to show UTA made the right decision.

Here are the marquee games this season --

Nov. 10: Northern Iowa (College Park Center)

Nov. 20: at Indiana (Assembly Hall)

Nov. 23: at Arkansas (Bud Walton Arena)

Dec. 4: at Missouri (Mizzou Arena)

Dec. 18: at Gonzaga (McCarthey Athletic Center)

Dec. 28: at Texas (Frank Erwin Center)

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram