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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 1:00 am

Ants face Skyforce in Nov. 2 opener

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

The Mad Ants will open their season Nov. 2 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, against the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

The home opener at Memorial Coliseum will be Nov. 9 against the Erie Bayhawks, the team that eliminated Fort Wayne from the single-elimination conference semifinals last season.

The Mad Ants' 50-game regular season run until the March 23 game at the Coliseum against the Grand Rapids Drive.

The Mad Ants, the G League affiliate of the Indiana Pacers, will be in the Eastern Conference's Central Division with the Canton Charge, Grand Rapids, Wisconsin Herd and Windy City Bulls.

There will be six divisions and two conference this season.

The G League will have a record 27 teams this season, including the new Capital City Go-Go, an expansion team owned by the Washington Wizards.

The Mad Ants will play host to the Go-Go on at 11 a.m. Feb. 7 and play the Go-Go at Congress Heights in Washington, D.C., on March 14 and 16.

Teams with new names this season include the Delaware Blue Coats, affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers, and Stockton Kings, of the Sacramento Kings.

The Austin Spurs are the defending champions.

Each team will play 24 games at home and 24 on the road with two games at the G League Showcase, an event for NBA scouts, which will be at a place with dates to be announced later. The Showcase was in Mississauga, Ontario, last season.

The G League, entering its 18th season, will not have any teams playing four games in the span of five nights, something that had been eliminated last season. The number of games on back-to-back nights has been reduced; teams have an average of 6.6 such stretches this season after 7 last season, and the NBA says this is an all-time low.

The Mad Ants' roster is unknown at this time, but coach Steve Gansey will be back, after he coached the Pacers' Summer League team.

jcohn@jg.net