UNCW men’s basketball schedule features games against Tar Heels, Pirates

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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.

Seniors Tanner Milson, left, and Chris Dixon will provide leadership in 2013-14. Courtesy- Tim Cowle
Seniors Tanner Milson, left, and Chris Dixon will provide leadership in 2013-14. Courtesy- Tim Cowle

“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 (CAA) 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 as 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 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.