Written By UNCG Sports Information Dept.
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Highlighted by 16 home games at the Greensboro Coliseum, UNCG men's basketball coach Wes Miller announced the 2013-14 schedule Monday. The Spartans' 31-game schedule includes visits by High Point, East Carolina, James Madison and NC State while road games at North Carolina, Rutgers, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech along with a multi-team exempt tournament in Florida.
"We are excited about our 2013-14 schedule," Miller said. "We have a good mix of quality opponents both at home and on the road. Being able to start the season with four-straight home games will provide a comfort level for our players and gives our fans a chance to see this young team play. Additionally, with four games against ACC opponents and at least six non-conference games against postseason teams, this schedule will challenge our team from the start."
The Spartans will once again hold an exhibition game on campus at Fleming Gymnasium when they welcome in Lees-McRae Nov. 2. The game will be part of a Fleming Gymnasium tripleheader which includes a women's basketball exhibition and a volleyball regular season game against rival Elon.
UNCG opens the 2013-14 regular season at home Nov. 8 when it hosts Triad rival High Point. This will mark the first year the Spartans have opened the season at home since the 2004-05 campaign (Montreat) and the first time they have opened the season at home against a NCAA Division I team since 2002-03 (Wagner). The Spartans and Panthers renewed their series last year for the first time since 2003.
The Spartans continue their season-opening four-game home stretch Nov. 12 when they welcome in East Carolina and Chowan (Nov. 17) to the Greensboro Coliseum. This marks the first time in program history that UNCG has opened the year with four straight home games and just the third time it has played three straight at home to open the year (1970-71 & 1976-77).
UNCG will take part in an exempt multi-team event this year in the Gulf Coast Showcase. As part of the event, the Spartans are afforded an extra game on the schedule and will host Greensboro College Nov. 20. UNCG travels to the main event at the Germain Arena in Estero, Florida in the Fort Myers/Naples area. The Spartans are guaranteed three games on consecutive days Nov. 25-27 in a strong field of mid-major school. The field includes Illinois-Chicago (18-16), Louisiana Tech (27-7), St. Bonaventure (14-15), San Diego (16-18), Southern Illinois (14-17), Stetson (15-16) and Western Illinois (22-9). The complete bracket will be announced at a later date.
After a home date against Presbyterian (Dec. 3), the Spartans will travel down I-40 to face North Carolina for the first time in program history Dec. 7. It will mark the return of Miller to the Dean Smith Center where he played in from 2004-07, winning a National Championship with the Tar Heels in 2005 and leading team to 31-wins as team captain his senior season.
The Spartans return to the Greensboro Coliseum Dec. 11 for a rare midweek afternoon game as they host Claflin. The game is an 11 a.m. contest as UNCG and Greensboro County Schools have combined for an Education Day where area middle schools will be able to attend the game for free in school-sponsored field trips.
UNCG closes out the month of December with a tough five-game stretch beginning Dec. 14 at Rutgers. NCAA Tournament participant James Madison comes to the Greensboro Coliseum Dec. 18 before the Spartans open a three-game set against Atlantic Coast Conference schools. UNCG will travel to Wake Forest (Dec. 21) and Virginia Tech (Dec. 28), before hosting NC State Dec. 30.
"We are proud of our ability to attract quality non-conference opponents to the Greensboro Coliseum," Miller said. "Bringing in teams like East Carolina and NC State to name a few, is not a luxury many mid-major programs can boast. In addition, playing in a multi-team event comprised of strong mid-major programs and playing three games in three days not only boosts our schedule, but it helps prepare us for the rigors of playing in a conference tournament."
For the first time since the 1993-94 season, the Southern Conference will be without divisions as all 11 teams will be grouped together. The Spartans will play every team once and will play six teams home-and-home (Western Carolina, Appalachian State, Davidson, Chattanooga, Georgia Southern and Elon).
Southern Conference play begins Jan. 2 when the Spartans travel to Cullowhee to take on Western Carolina. UNCG hosts Furman Jan. 6 in its SoCon home opener before playing at Appalachian State (Jan. 9), The Citadel (Jan. 16), Davidson (Jan. 18), at Samford (Jan. 23), at Chattanooga (Jan. 25) and home against Appalachian State (Jan. 30) to round out the month.
The month of February begins with a home date against Georgia Southern on the first before games at Elon (Feb.6) and at Georgia Southern (Feb. 13). The Spartans close out the home portion of the regular season with three straight contests at the Greensboro Coliseum hosting Western Carolina Feb. 16, Elon Feb. 19 and Chattanooga Feb. 23 on senior night. UNCG wraps up the regular season with road games at Davidson (Feb. 27) and Wofford (March 1).
The 2014 Southern Conference Tournament will be held once against in Asheville, N.C., at the U.S. Cellular Center. All 11 teams will qualify for the tournament which runs March 7-10.
UNCG Sports Information Dept.