Fall is the best time of year for sports fans. Football is underway at all levels (youth, high school, college, and the NFL), baseball is entering post-season play, the NBA tips off its season, and players with dreams of one day playing in the NBA take the court across the country as college basketball teams begin their journey to the NCAA Tournament. I dare say it's an embarrassment of riches. One of those teams looking to land in the field of 64 in March is our very own University of Evansville Purple Aces who released their slate of non-conference games on Monday.

It's no secret the 2020-21 season was rough for the Purple Aces. In the wake of Walter McCarty's firing, former Butler head coach, and the 2007 National Association of Basketball Coaches National Coach of the Year, Todd Lickliter was hired in January 2020 to take over the team and build on the success McCarty had begun. Three months later, the world shut down as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe leaving many to wonder if UE, or any team for that matter, would even have a season.

As you know, the season did happen, albeit a shortened one, and the Aces finished with a record of 9-16, winning their final game of the regular season before being ousted from the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament by Indiana State in the first round.

Despite the record, Coach Lickliter and the team can look back on what worked well for them, like going 8-4 at home, and use that as stepping stones for the upcoming season which begins November 9th on the road against the University of Cincinnati. The season-opener will take place just shy of 31 years after the two teams last played in December of 1990.

Other highlights on the early part of the schedule include a trip to Fort Myers, Florida for the Gulf Coast Classic Tournament, and a first-time matchup against the University of Central Florida at home inside the Ford Center.

Check out the complete schedule below:

  • Saturday, October 30th at 1:00 p.m. - Mount St. Joseph (HOME - EXHIBITION)
  • Thursday, November 4th at 6:00 p.m.  - Kentucky Wesleyan (HOME - EXHIBITION)
  • Tuesday, November 9th (Time TBD) - University of Cincinnati (AWAY)
  • Thursday, November 11th at 6:00 p.m. - IUPUI (HOME)
  • Saturday, November 13th at 4:00 p.m. - Belmont (AWAY)
  • Tuesday, November 16th at 6:00 p.m. - DePauw (HOME)
  • Saturday, November 20th at 1:00 p.m. - University of Central Florida (HOME)
  • Monday, November 22nd - Wednesday, November 24th - Gulf Coast Classic (Fort Myers, Florida)
  • Sunday, November 28th at 1:00 p.m.  - Eastern Illinois (AWAY)
  • Wednesday, December 1st (Time TBD) - Conference Schedule Opener (HOME - Opponent TBA)
  • Saturday, December 4th (Time TBA) - Tennessee Tech (HOME)
  • Wednesday, December 8th (Time TBA) - Southeast Missouri State (AWAY)
  • Saturday, December 18th (Time TBA) - Univeristy of Tennessee-Martin (HOME)
  • Tuesday, December 21st (Time TBA) - Southern Methodist University (AWAY)

For ticket information, visit the UE Athletics website.

[Source: University of Evansville]

LOOK: 50 images of winning moments from sports history

Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.

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