Jul 31, 2013, 2:41 PM EDT
The renewal of a historic rivalry with regional foe East Carolina, a visit to the Dean Smith Center to battle North Carolina and four first-time opponents highlight the non-conference men’s basketball schedule for Buzz Peterson and his UNCW Seahawks in 2013-14.
“We’re very excited about our non-conference schedule and look forward to the new season,” said Peterson, who begins his fourth campaign with the Seahawks. “The first part of the schedule is obviously very challenging. We want to put our guys in situations that will help them later on in league play, so we have some very good road games that will accomplish that.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge. There are a lot of games on top of each other early, so we’ll have to be prepared for them.”
The Seahawks and Pirates are set to play the next four years and meet for the first time since 2008 when the pair of longtime rivals collide on Dec. 1 at Minges Coliseum in Greenville. UNCW owns a 33-27 advantage in the series, but ECU claimed a 99-85 victory on Dec. 3, 2008, in the last pairing between the two former Colonial Athletic Association rivals.
Peterson, a member of North Carolina’s 1982 national championship team, returns to his alma mater on Dec. 31 when the Seahawks take on the Tar Heels to wrap up the calendar year. The two state schools play for only the third time and last played on Dec. 28, 2004, when the Tar Heels claimed a 96-75 verdict at the Smith Center.
Iowa, Iowa State, Stephen F. Austin and Western Kentucky appear on the UNCW schedule for the first time. Overall, the Seahawks will take on teams from 10 different conferences this fall, including eight opponents in the CAA.
The Seahawks will tip off against eight non-conference teams that advanced to the postseason one year ago: NCAA (Iowa State, Liberty, UNC Chapel Hill, Western Kentucky), NIT (Charleston Southern, Iowa, Stephen F. Austin), CIT (East Carolina).
The Seahawks, who went 10-20 overall and 5-7 against non-league opponents last season, entertain Belmont Abbey in an exhibition game on Oct. 30 and play another exhibition against Methodist on Nov. 3 before kicking off the regular season with a two-game swing to the Upper Midwest to face the Hawkeyes and Cyclones.
The non-conference schedule has a distinct state flavor. The Seahawks will play two state opponents (Belmont Abbey and Methodist) in exhibition games and five others (Campbell, East Carolina, UNC Asheville, UNC Chapel Hill and Wingate) during the course of the regular season.
The front part of the schedule is also road heavy. The Seahawks play six of their first seven games away from Trask Coliseum, split by a home date against Wingate on Nov. 16.
Former guard Keith Adkins returns to his alma mater in late November when the Campbellsville head coach brings his Tigers to Trask Coliseum. Adkins appeared in 55 games for the Seahawks in 1992 and 1993 and ranks first in career 3-point field goal percentage (.457) and second in single season free throw percentage (.918 in 1991-92).
Overall, UNCW has 31 games on the slate, 16 in the CAA and 15 against non-conference foes.
2013-14 UNCW Men’s Basketball Non-Conference Opponents
Campbell “Camels” (GoCamels.com)
The Camels and first-year coach Kevin McGeehan return seven of their top 10 scorers and rebounders from 2012-13 when the team finished 13-20 overall and third in the Big South Conference North Division (7-9).
The Tigers, coached by former UNCW sharpshooter Keith Adkins, are the only team that received votes in the 2012-2013 postseason NAIA Coaches’ Poll that did not compete in the NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. Campbellsville is one of two non-Division I opponents on the schedule.
Charleston Southern (CSUSports.com)
The Buccaneers finished 19-13 last season, including a 12-4 record in the Big South Conference. CSU won the Big South regular season title and advanced to the finals of the conference tournament. CSU played in the Postseason NIT, pushing top-seeded Southern Miss to the limits in a last minute loss.
East Carolina (ECUPirates.com)
The Seahawks and Pirates meet for the first time since Dec. 3, 2008. ECU defeated Weber State, 77-74, on April 2 to win the CIT title, capping a two-week surge leading to the program’s first-ever postseason championship.
UNCW faces longtime Big Ten member Iowa and Coach Fran McCaffery for the first time. The Hawkeyes reached the 2013 Postseason NIT championship in Madison Square Garden before losing to Baylor, 74-54, and closing with a 25-13 record for the second most victories in school history.
Iowa State (Cyclones.com)
Iowa State made its second-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, finishing with a 23-12 mark and 11-7 record in the Big 12, tying for fourth place in the league. ISU led the Big 12 and ranked third nationally, averaging 79.4 ppg. ISU’s 79.4 average was the highest from a “power-six” conference.
The Seahawks travel to Lynchburg to face Liberty, which advanced to the NCAA’s First Four last season and lost to North Carolina A&T, 73-72. Coach Dale Layer’s club concluded its season with a 15-21 record after winning the 2013 Big South Conference title and making its third NCAA Tournament appearance.
The Seahawks entertain Manhattan at Trask Coliseum after losing to the Jaspers, 79-64, in New York late in the 2011-12 season. The Jaspers return four starters from last year’s squad that won eight of its last 11 games and advanced to the MAAC Championship game.
UNCW travels to Huntington, W.Va., for the second straight season to battle the Thundering Herd. Coach Tom Herrion’s team slipped to 13-19 last year and lost its three inside players, but the Herd will have much-balleyhooed point guard Kareem Canty eligible as well as forward Ryan Taylor and two more JUCO transfers.
UNC Asheville (UNCABulldogs.com)
In an odd turn of events, former UNCA skipper Eddie Biedenbach will visit his old stomping grounds when the UNCW assistant coach travels with his new team to Asheville on Dec. 28. New Bulldogs coach Nick McDevitt inherits a team that went 16-16 last season and lost in the first round of the Big South Conference Tournament.
UNC Chapel Hill (TarHeelBlue.com)
Buzz Peterson returns to his alma mater for the third time when the Seahawks battle the Tar Heels in a New Year’s Eve clash at the Dean Smith Center. It will be only the fourth meeting between the two state teams and the first since the Tar Heels handed the Seahawks a 96-75 loss on Dec. 28, 2004, in Chapel Hill.
Old Dominion (ODUSports.com)
The Seahawks continue their rivalry with old CAA foe Old Dominion when the Monarchs visit Trask Coliseum on Dec. 21. ODU first-year coach Jeff Jones begins his first season in Norfolk after heading up the program at American for 12 seasons.
Stephen F. Austin (SFAJacks.CSTV.com)
The Seahawks and Lumberjacks hook up for the first time on Nov. 29 in Wilmington. SFA finished with a 27-5 record in 2012-13 and posted the most wins by a Lumberjack squad since the 1971-72 campaign, falling in its final two games of the year by a combined three points.
Western Kentucky (WKUSports.com)
The Hilltoppers wound up 20-16 one year ago after capturing the Sun Belt Conference title and advancing to their 24rd NCAA Tournament. WKU, a No. 16 seed, played in the NCAA’s for the fourth time in the last six seasons and led top-seeded Kansas at halftime before falling, 64-57.
The Bulldogs won 20 games for the second straight year in 2012-13, but lose five seniors off Coach Brian Good’s team. Wingate was one of the nation’s top NCAA Division II teams and closed with a 22-9 record after advancing to the regional semifinals for the second year in a row.
Non-Conference Opponents By Affiliation
ACC (UNC Chapel Hill)
Big 10 (Iowa)
Big 12 (Iowa State)
Big South (UNC Asheville, Campbell, Liberty, Charleston Southern)
Conference USA (East Carolina, Marshall, Old Dominion)
Metro Atlantic (Manhattan)
Southland (Stephen F. Austin)
Sun Belt (Western Kentucky)
NCAA Division II (Wingate)
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