San Antonio – St. Mary’s University men’s basketball coach Jim Zeleznak released the 2009-2010 men’s basketball schedule on Monday, a schedule that includes 16 home games and the hosting of the 2010 Heartland Conference Tournament.

The 16 home games is the most since the 2006-2007 season, when the Rattlers played 17 home games. St. Mary’s was also awarded the 2010 Heartland Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournaments at Bill Greehey Arena on March 4-6. The Rattlers will also host the River City Classic at Bill Greehey Arena on Nov. 27-28. St. Mary’s will play five schools that advanced to the NCAA South Central Region Tournament last season.

St. Mary’s will open the 2009-2010 on Nov. 15, when they host St. Thomas University at 1:30 p.m. They will start a five-game homestand with a game on Nov. 21 against Southwestern University at noon. The Rattlers will follow that up with games against 2009 NCAA South Central Region participant Texas A&M-Kingsville on Nov. 24, Texas A&M University-Commerce on Nov. 27 and Midwestern State University on Nov. 28. On Dec. 29 the Rattlers will host Angelo State University, who advanced to the NCAA South Central Region Tournament last season, at 7:30 p.m.

The start of the Heartland Conference season will offer little rest for the Rattlers as both the University of the Incarnate Word and Dallas Baptist University advanced to the NCAA South Central Region Tournament. As always, St. Edward’s University will be among the top teams in the league. Texas A&M International University, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin and Newman have improvement over the last two years and will challenge for a spot in the Heartland Conference Tournament. New to the Heartland Conference this season is the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, who will play a full conference schedule, but will not compete for the league title.

The Heartland Conference Tournament was awarded to St. Mary’s this season and will be held at Bill Greehey Arena on March 4-6. The tournament was also expanded from four to six teams this season. The NCAA South Central Region Tournament will be held on March 13-16, while the NCAA Division II Elite Eight will be played in Springfield, Mass., on March 24-27.

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