Coastal’s schedule features ACC, SEC, Big Ten games

The 2013-14 Coastal Carolina men’s basketball schedule features 17 home contests including the EA SPORTS Maui on the Mainland Tournament.

Four of CCU’s non-conference opponents won 21 games or more last season while three advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Chants first four opponents of the season had a combined record of 93-37 last season and feature the defending MAC and SEC Champions.

“This schedule is as competitive as we’ve had since coming here,” said head men’s basketball coach Cliff Ellis. “The early part of the schedule is brutally tough with games against the ACC, SEC, Big Ten, opening with Akron and hosting The Maui On the Mainland Classic. All together this schedule will really challenge us and show us where we are as a team. It will be a great experience for the players, coaches and fans.”

The Chants open up the season on the road Nov. 8 against the defending Mid-American Conference regular season and tournament champions, University of Akron. The Zips fell to the Chants in an overtime thriller in last season’s opener at The HTC Center. Following that lose the Zips went on to have the longest winning streak in the country and made their way into the top 25. They eventually won the MAC Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in five seasons.

CCU’s home opener comes Monday, Nov.11 against Guilford College who went 19-8 last season in NCAA Division III play. The next tough test comes against defending SEC Champions Ole Miss. The Rebels will visit The HTC Center on Nov. 16 marking the first time an SEC member has played in the new home of the Chants. Ole Miss was 27-9 last season and made it to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. The Chants held a three-point lead over the Rebels at halftime on the road last season before falling in the second half.

Coastal closes out the first four games with a trip to Big Ten member Minnesota on Nov. 19. The Golden Gophers went 21-13 last season and made it to the third round of the NCAA Tournament which was the farthest they had been as a program in 23 years.

The Chants will welcome in St. Francis Brooklyn, Louisiana and Oakland as part of the EA SPORTS Maui on the Mainland Tournament Nov. 23-24. Coastal will take on St. Francis while Louisiana will battle Oakland on the opening day. The winners of each game will play for the championship on Sunday while the losers will play in a consolation game.

Another tough test will come over the Thanksgiving holiday as the Chants will battle Clemson for the third-straight year on Nov. 29. Coastal has won two-straight against the Tigers, including a 23-point victory last season at home. The Chants will travel to Littlejohn Coliseum, the site of 2011’s last second heroics that saw the Chants down the Tigers 60-59.

A return game from last season’s Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters has Western Carolina coming to The HTC Center on Dec. 4. Non-division I opponents North Carolina Wesleyan and Reinhardt will do battle with the Chants on Dec. 5 and Dec. 14 in Conway while the Chants close out the non-conference portion of their schedule with home-and-home series against South Carolina State and Central Connecticut State. The Chants will travel to S.C. State on Dec. 17 while the Bulldogs come to Conway on Dec. 30. CCU will travel to Central Connecticut on Dec. 21 and the Blue Devils will come to The HTC Center on Jan. 3.

The Chants open up Big South Conference play on the road Jan. 8 against Charleston Southern. Other BSC road games include Gardner-Webb (Jan. 11), Presbyterian (Jan. 22), Radford (Jan. 25), Campbell (Feb. 1), VMI (Feb. 12), Winthrop (Feb. 19) and UNC Asheville (Feb. 22)

The Chants’ first Big South home date of 2014 will be Jan. 15 when they welcome UNC Asheville. Other home conference games include Winthrop (Jan. 18), Liberty (Jan. 29), High Point (Feb. 5), Longwood (Feb. 8), Gardner-Webb (Feb. 15), Presbyterian (Feb. 26) and Charleston Southern (March 1).

The Big South Men’s and Women’s Tournament – the visitmyrtlebeach.com Basketball Championships – will be played from March 4-9 at The HTC Center with the men’s first round games starting March 5.

Photo by Joel Beachum, Carolina Click Photos

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