Can UNC-Wilmington pull off the upset? Two area standouts on Arizona, North Carolina in March Madness

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ORLANDO, Florida – The two-time Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) champion UNCW men’s basketball team tips-off against Virginia out of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

As a 12-seed in the Big Dance, the Seahawks face fifth-seeded Cavaliers in a matchup between two different styles of play. Game time is set for 12:40 p.m. from Amway Center on Thursday. The game will be televised on TruTV. UNCW is hosting a viewing party on campus for the community to cheer on the Seahawks. Doors at Trask Coliseum will open at 11:40 a.m. 

UNCW (29-5) will be the No. 12 seed for the first time in six NCAA Tournament appearances after battling Duke in last year’s tournament as a No. 13 seed. Coach Kevin Keatts and his club bring a seven-game winning streak to Florida.

Virginia, which enters the tournament with a 22-10 record, will be playing in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive season. The Cavaliers finished in a tie for fifth in the ACC and advanced to the league’s quarterfinals before falling to Notre Dame, 71-58. Coach Tony Bennett has compiled a 187-82 record in eight seasons at U.Va.

As a top-10 scoring offense averaging 85.2 points per game, UNCW faces the best scoring defense in the country. Virginia has allowed just 55.6 points per game. However, the 12-seed has won 17 of its last 32 games in the NCAA Tournament dating back to 2008.

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi doesn’t think the Seahawks have the fire power to upset the Cavaliers. Click here for his reaction to the match up.

UNCW owns a 1-5 record in the NCAA Tournament, playing in Nashville (2000 and 2003), Sacramento (2002), Greensboro (2006) and Providence (2016). The Seahawks’ win in the NCAA Tournament came on March 14, 2002, when 13th-seeded UNCW stunned No. 4-seeded Southern California, 93-89, in overtime at Arco Arena.

Kadeem Allen, Stilman White ready for one last dance

Kadeem Allen looks to help guide Arizona to this year's Final Four. Photo courtesy- UA Athletics.
Kadeem Allen looks to help guide Arizona to this year’s Final Four. Photo courtesy- UA Athletics.

Seniors Kadeem Allen and Stilman White will make one last appearance in the NCAA Tournament this March as both standouts have a great opportunity to be part of a memorable run to the Final Four in Phoenix, Arizona.

After claiming the programs sixth Pac-12 Tournament championship in Las Vegas, Arizona was rewarded with the No. 2 seed in the West Region of the 2017 NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats travel to Salt Lake City and play North Dakota in a first-round game on Thursday, March 16. Tip-off is slated for 9:50 p.m. and televised on TBS.

Arizona is making its 32nd appearance in the NCAA Tournament with an all-time record of 54-30 (.643) and 11-5 (.688) under Pac-12 Coach of the Year Sean Miller.

Averaging 30.1 minutes per game, Allen has been a catalyst for the Wildcats during his time in Tucson since transferring from Hutchinson Community College. He played three seasons at Laney High School before transferring to New Hanover ahead of his senior year and winning the 4A State Title.

Stilman White will return to Wilmington as part of the ACC Barnstorming Tour.
Stilman White will return to Wilmington as part of the ACC Barnstorming Tour.

While Allen expects to play a much more prominent role in the success of Arizona, Stilman White (Hoggard) has been able to enjoy an amazing journey as a member of the North Carolina Tar Heels. He will represent Carolina during next month’s ACC Barnstorming Tour during a stop in the Port City.

North Carolina is the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament South Regional, earning a top seed for a record 16th time and a seventh time in 14 seasons under head coach Roy Williams.

The Tar Heels will open play on Friday at approximately 4 p.m. in Greenville, S.C., against No. 16 seed Texas Southern.  The game will air on TNT.

Other No. 1 seeds nationally include Villanova (East), Kansas (Midwest) and Gonzaga (West).