Dates set for Georgia Tech-Georgia game, 5 other opponents

Georgia Tech will play rival Georgia in mid-December again, the third year in a row that the game will fall on that spot in the schedule.

Tech and Georgia will meet on Dec. 19, a Tuesday, in Athens. A copy of the game contract was obtained through an open-records request. The game will take place on the Tuesday following the final-exam period at Tech. In recent seasons, the game has been played at the start of the season in mid-November and also in early December. The Bulldogs have won the past two games in the series, including a 60-43 victory in December at McCamish Pavilion.

Tech also has already signed contracts for six other games, including the previously announced season-opening matchup against UCLA in Shanghai.

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The Jackets will play home games against Bethune-Cookman on Nov. 19, Texas-Rio Grande Valley on Nov. 22, North Texas on Nov. 24 and Grambling on Dec. 1. The games are part of what the NCAA terms a “multi-team exempt event,” which the contract identifies as the “Ramblin’ Wreck Showcase.” Tech will pay bd Global, an event-management company, $290,000 for the four games.

By NCAA rule, an exempt event is a series of games that are allowed to be counted as just one game. Exempt events are more typically holiday tournaments such as the Maui Invitational or the Battle 4 Atlantis.

Tech will play Florida A&M on Dec. 17 at McCamish Pavilion. The game is worth $85,000 for the Tallahassee, Fla., school.

Tech also already has games scheduled with Tennessee (home) and Wofford (road), but the dates have not been set. It’s the third game in a four-game contract with Tennessee and the final game of a three-game agreement with Wofford.

The Jackets also will play in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge against an opponent to be determined. That likely will be a home game.

Of these non-conference games, Tech will play four against power-conference teams and a fifth on the road against Wofford, which has regularly competed for the Southern Conference championship.

The four opponents in the Ramblin’ Wreck Showcase and Florida A&M stand to be among the weakest in Division I. Last season, the five teams had RPI rankings in the bottom 37 of the 351 Division I teams.

Further, coach Josh Pastner said that he expects Tech’s ACC schedule having two open dates, and that he was leaning toward filling those with games against Division II opponents, as he did this past season against Tusculum.

Explore The story behind Georgia Tech playing Division II Tusculum

Those seven games, nearly a quarter of Tech’s regular-season schedule, likely will not make much of an impression on the NCAA Tournament selection committee, should the Jackets find themselves competing for their first tournament berth since 2010.

It is part of Pastner’s scheduling strategy. He suggested that he felt it necessary to play against lesser regarded teams because his team is “in a major rebuild job” and that “we’re not out of the woods yet.”

Explore Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner on scheduling, Jose Alvarado and more