PARAGOULD — Crowley’s Ridge College Men’s Basketball program has announced three games on their upcoming schedule will be with NCAA Division I opponents.

CRC is coming off a 14-19 season that saw them capture their first trip to the NAIA National Tournament in only the program’s fourth year of eligibility in the NAIA. Conference Newcomer of the Year Bo Roberson, a 6’0 guard from Tuckerman, will be returning after a Freshman season that saw him lead the team with 18.2 points per game last season.

On Dec. 2, CRC will make the short trip to Jonesboro to face the Red Wolves of Arkansas State University. ASU from the Sun Belt Conference finished last season with an overall record of 16-16 under Head Coach Mike Balado.

Dec. 17 will have the Pioneers travel to Florence, Ala., and a match up with the Lions of the University of North Alabama. UNA is under the direction of Head Coach Tony Pujol. The Lions finished 13-17 last season and are members of the Atlantic Sun Conference. UNA moved to NCAA Division I in 2018.

The University of Tennessee at Martin will be the third division one opponent for the Pioneers on Dec. 28. The Skyhawks were 9-20 last season with Head Coach Anthony Stewart. UTM, from the Ohio Valley Conference, is the only returning opponent of the three. CRC lost to the Skyhawks 84-61 on Jan. 1, 2015.

“We are always excited about stepping up our schedule,” said Crowley’s Ridge College Head Coach Chris Perkins. “Anytime we can play an opponent at a higher level it just makes us better in the long run.”

“UNA has a great tradition with two National Championships at the D 2 level and now their move to D 1 and the Atlantic Sun helps their program to keep growing.” Coach Perkins continued.

“We are obviously excited about finally getting Arkansas State on our schedule. Our local kids are looking forward to playing against them on the big stage in Jonesboro. It will be a big deal for our campus. We are just grateful and thankful that ASU is giving us this opportunity.”

Crowley’s Ridge College played their first NCAA Division I opponent on Dec. 30, 2010 when the Pioneers traveled to face Tennessee Tech University. The Pioneers are currently 0-11 in match ups with Division I programs all time.

CRC will release the remaining games of their 2020-21 season in the next few days.