TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (July 27, 2017) – Tallahassee Community College released its 2017-18 men's and women's basketball schedules on Wednesday, and both teams will travel west for the November 3 season openers.
The Eagle men will head to Poplar Bluff, Mo., for Three Rivers College's First Midwest Bank Classic where Coach Mark White's squad will open the season at 8 p.m., November 3 against host Three Rivers – completing a home-and-home series with the Raiders.
Tallahassee hosted Three Rivers in last December's Tallahassee Democrat Holiday Classic, a game the Eagles won, 88-80.
The Eagles' second game in the Classic will take place the following evening against Mineral Area (Mo.) College, who ended the 2016-17 season with a 28-3 record and No. 9 national ranking.
Following a week off, Tallahassee will play its home opener at 12 p.m., Saturday, November 11 against South Georgia Technical College in the Seals Financial Tip-Off Classic. The game will mark the Eagles' latest date for a home opener since 2006 (November 14).
Meanwhile, the destination for the Tallahassee women on opening weekend will be Little Rock, Ark., and the Arkansas Baptist College Season Tip-off Classic. There, Coach Franqua "Q" Bedell's Eagles will play a pair of opponents who joined Tallahassee in Lubbock, Texas, last March at the NJCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship.
Tallahassee will open the season against Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College at 4 p.m., Friday, November 3. The next day, the Eagles will play Western Nebraska Community College.
A road game at Santa Fe College (November 7) and a neutral-site tilt vs. Vincennes (Ind.) University (November 11) in Panama City, Fla., will carry Tallahassee to its home opener on November 14 – the latest date for a home opener since playing on November 14, 1997. The three-day Capital Courtyard Classic (November 14-16) will feature a mix of NJCAA and high school teams.
The Eagles' only other home games during the non-conference portion of the schedule are December 9 vs. St. Petersburg College and the annual Tallahassee Democrat Holiday Classic on December 28 and 29, an event co-hosted with the Eagle men.
For the women, the remainder of the non-conference schedule includes the Budke/Serna Classic (November 24-25, Athens, Texas), the Florida College's Women's Basketball Shootout (December 1-2, Daytona Beach, Fla.), the Northwest Florida State College Holiday Classic (December 12-13, Niceville, Fla.) and a single game at East Georgia State College (December 19).
The rest of the men's November slate includes a home-and-home with Albany (Ga.) Technical College (November 13 & 27) and Hillsborough Community College (November 20 & 28), a trip to Daytona State College (November 15) and a home date with defending state champion St. Petersburg (November 18).
The December schedule is highlighted by three classics – the Jim Grimes Memorial Classic (December 1-2, Melbourne, Fla.), the Florida College's Men's Basketball Shootout (December 9-10, Gainesville, Fla.) and the aforementioned Tallahassee Democrat Holiday Classic, which will include a game against White's former team, East Mississippi Community College. Also included are road games at South Georgia Tech (December 6) and St. Petersburg (December 13) and a home date with Middle Georgia Prep Academy (December 14).
The 12-game Panhandle Conference schedule will commence Saturday, January 6 at Gulf Coast State College for both the men and women. The Eagles' PC home opener is three days later, Tuesday, January 9 against Chipola College.
Tallahassee's PC home schedule also includes dates with Pensacola State College (January 20 and February 24), Gulf Coast State (January 27), Northwest Florida State College (February 3) and a return visit from Chipola (February 13).
The top two teams will advance to the NJCAA Region 8/FCSAA State Tournament in Ocala, Fla., March 7-10. While that is the traditional format for the men, the 2018 conference season offers a new postseason blueprint for the women.
Though the Panhandle Conference remains at five schools, the FCSAA realigned to four conferences in women's basketball, with each conference receiving two berths to the state tournament. As a result, the Panhandle will no longer receive a third berth two out of every three years, as it did in 2017 when Tallahassee qualified as the No. 3 seed. While that eliminates a likely top-15 team from the state tournament, an at-large berth to the national tournament is still a possibility.
All home games will be played inside the Bill Hebrock Eagledome.