Chants receive big send-off for rare trip to Big Dance

ccuhoops-3The Coastal Carolina University men’s basketball team got a big send-off to the NCAA Tournament on Wednesday.

Hundreds of CCU fans gathered outside and held hand-made signs to wish the Chanticleers good luck going into Friday night’s showdown with No. 1-seeded Virginia.

Coastal will take part in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 21 years beginning Friday night at 9:25 p.m.  The Chants will take on the #3 Virginia Cavaliers inside PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. The game will be broadcast live on TBS.

Coastal is looking for its first NCAA Tournament victory in program history while head coach Cliff Ellis is leading his fourth different program to the “Big Dance.”

The Chants are 2-3 against members of the ACC under coach Ellis’ watch. CCU is 2-1 against Clemson, 0-1 against Duke and 0-1 against Florida State.

Ellis has been to the NCAA Tournament seven previous times. He took South Alabama in 1979 and 1980, Clemson in 1987, 1989 and 1990 and Auburn in 1999 and 2000.

Ellis’ career record in NCAA Tournament play is 6-7. He has advanced to the Sweet 16 with both Clemson and Auburn. He lost his two Sweet 16 games by a combined 10 points.

Ellis’ last trip to the NCAA Tournament was in 2000. His Auburn Tigers won their first game as a No. 7 seed over Creighton, the No. 10 seed, 72-69, before falling to No. 2 seed Iowa State 79-60 in the round of 32.

Coastal Carolina and Virginia have met twice on the basketball court. Virginia holds the series lead at 2-0.

The Cavaliers won the first meeting between the two squads in 2001, 117-78. UVA was ranked #25 at the time.The most recent meeting was in 2003, UVA won 89-74. Both meetings took place in Charlottesville, Va.

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