GREENSBORO, NC – UNC Greensboro men’s basketball coach Mike Dement announced Tuesday his team’s 2006-07 slate, which features a return to the Greensboro Coliseum to take on Virginia Tech.
The Spartans will head back across Lee Street to the Coliseum to play host to the Hokies on January 10 as part of a men’s and women’s doubleheader. Game times for the twinbill are not yet set. Last year, UNCG played host to top-ranked Duke in front of a record crowd of 21,124. The crowd was the largest to see a UNCG athletic event.
“This is as challenging a schedule as our program has faced since maybe our first years in Division I as an independent,” said Dement. “We will take on three schools from the ACC, and also face two Conference USA members and a Big Ten team as part of our non-conference slate. We will be well-tested to face our Southern Conference foes.”
The Southern Conference has altered the format of its conference schedule this season. The 11-member schools will remain in their two divisions (5 North / 6 South), but will play an unbalanced schedule. The league’s 11 Athletics Directors have formally adopted an 18-game conference schedule for men’s basketball.
In 2005-06, North Division schools played a 14-game league schedule, while South Division squads had a 15-game slate. Starting this season, teams in the North will play each divisional member twice and cross over to face four teams from the South Division twice and the remaining two from the South Division one time.
In the South Division, teams will cross over to play four North Division foes on a home and home basis and face every divisional opponent twice, with the exception of two teams that will play each other one time. The two South Division teams that play each other once annually will rotate on a yearly basis.
In an additional change for 2006-07, division champions will be protected in the tournament seeding process. The division champ with the better record will be the tournament’s top seed, while the other champ will be the No. 2 seed. Last year, although it did not happen, a division champion was not protected, but rather teams were seeded 1-11 by winning percentage regardless of division standing.
After taking on Belmont Abbey in an exhibition game Nov. 4 at Fleming Gym, UNCG will open the season with three straight road games. The Spartans open the season at Marshall on Saturday, Nov. 11 and then continue north to take on Penn State in State College on Monday, Nov. 13. The road doesn’t get kinder for the third game when UNCG visits Cameron Arena to face Duke on Thursday, Nov. 16.
UNCG’s home opener will come on November 18 when the Spartans play host to Dement’s alma mater, East Carolina, at 7 pm. UNCG defeated the Pirates in Greenville last year. The Spartans will then close out November with a road game at Gardner-Webb (Nov. 21), the SoCon opener at home against Wofford (Nov. 27) and a trip to Hampton Roads to face Hampton (Nov. 29).
December begins with a pair of Southern Conference clashes, including a home date against Davidson, a 2006 NCAA Tournament participant, on Dec. 4, followed by a trip to Furman on Dec. 9. After breaking for final exams, UNCG will host St. Peter’s, a return game from last year’s BracketBuster, and Delaware on Dec. 21 and 23. After the Christmas break, UNCG will close out 2006 by starting a four-game road trip at Georgia Southern (Dec. 30).
The start of January will see UNCG travel to North Carolina State, Western Carolina and Elon to complete their four-game road trip. The Spartans, however, will conclude January with five out of six games at home, including the Jan. 10 date at the Coliseum with Virginia Tech and visits to Fleming Gym by Chattanooga, Appalachian State, Furman and Georgia Southern.
February’s slate features home games with College of Charleston, Elon, Western Carolina and an opponent still to be decided. The Spartans will face Davidson, Wofford, Appalachian State and Chattanooga.
The SoCon Tournament will be played at the North Charleston Coliseum in North Charleston, SC, on March 1-4.
UNCG is coming off a 12-19 season last season, Dement’s first since returning to UNCG in April 2005. The Spartans return all five starters from last year’s squad, including all-conference performers Ricky Hickman and Kyle Hines. In all, 93.8 percent of UNCG’s scoring from last year, including nearly 2,000 of the 2,132 points the team scored, and 93.2 percent of its rebounding return. Hickman, a senior from Kernersville, NC, has already surpassed the 1,000-point for his career while Hines, a junior from Sicklerville, NJ, needs just 14 points for 1,000 in his career.
Season tickets for UNCG basketball are on sale now for Spartan Club members through the UNCG box office by calling (336) 334-3250. Single-game tickets go on sale beginning Sept. 1.
2006-07 UNCG SCHEDULE: Nov. 4 vs. Belmont-Abbey (exh.), 2 pm; Nov. 11 at Marshall, TBA; Nov. 13 at Penn State, TBA; Nov. 16 at Duke, TBA; Nov. 18 vs. East Carolina, 7 pm; Nov. 21 at Gardner-Webb, TBA; Nov. 27 vs. *Wofford, 7 pm; Nov. 29 at Hampton, TBA; Dec. 4 vs. *Davidson, 7 pm; Dec. 9 at *Furman, TBA; Dec. 21 vs. St. Peter’s 7 pm; Dec. 23 vs. Delaware, 7 pm; Dec. 30 at *Georgia Southern, TBA; Jan. 2 at North Carolina State, TBA; Jan. 6 at *Western Carolina, TBA; Jan. 8 at *Elon, TBA; Jan. 10 vs. Virginia Tech (at Greensboro Coliseum), TBA; Jan. 13 vs. *Chattanooga, 7 pm; Jan. 18 vs. *Appalachian State, 7 pm; Jan. 20 at *The Citadel, TBA; Jan. 27 vs. *Furman, 7 pm; Jan. 29 vs. *Georgia Southern, 7 pm; Feb. 3 at *Davidson, TBA; Feb. 5 at *Wofford, TBA; Feb. 10 vs. *College of Charleston, TBA; Feb. 12 vs. *Elon, TBA; Feb. 14 vs. *Western Carolina, 7 pm; Feb. 17 vs. opponent TBD, TBA; Feb. 22 at *Appalachian State, TBA, Feb. 24 at *Chattanooga, 7 pm; March 1-4 at Southern Conference Tournament (North Charleston, SC), TBA. (*Southern Conference game)
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