Festivities set for UNCG-Clemson home opener
GREENSBORO, N.C. - The UNCG men's basketball team will open its first season at the Greensboro Coliseum on Blue & Gold Day, Friday, Nov. 20, when it faces the No. 22 Clemson Tigers at 7 p.m.
UNCG wants to pack the Coliseum on Friday in a show of school spirit that will help the Spartans to victory. The first 2,000 students to enter the game will receive "Go Blue or Go Home!" t-shirts and the first 2,000 fans will receive commemorative key chains. Athletics Director Kim Record encouraged alumni and friends to join students, faculty and staff in wearing UNCG's school colors - navy blue and gold - all day and at the game.
"Having a home court advantage with a loud and enthusiastic crowd does make a difference to our basketball team," Record said. "Our students, faculty, staff and the Greensboro community have embraced our move to the Coliseum and are ready to tip off against a ranked Clemson team."
One of the best ticket deals in town, especially for group attendance, is the new Spartan Spot. Located in one of the end-zones, the Spartan Spot offers a court-side view, complete with two bars so you can get a beverage without missing a single bit of action on the court. Tickets are $5 each with a maximum capacity of 160. There is no extra charge to reserve the Spartan Spot, but reservations should be made early - it is already reserved for about half of the games this season. For details, call the UNCG Athletics Ticket Office (336) 334-3250.
The pre-game fun starts Thursday, Nov. 19, with a pep rally at the Fountain in front of the Dining Hall from 12:30-1:30 p.m., with appearances by Coach Mike Dement, the men's basketball team and the spirit teams.
The tip-off is at 7 p.m., but Nov. 20 will be more than a basketball game as UNCG holds its fourth annual Basketball Kickoff Party (Facebook log-in required) 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Coliseum Pavilion area. Activities include fun for kids, games, entertainment, giveaways and a performance by the student organization, Spartan Force Marching Band. Tailgating by student groups, alumni and Spartan fans will take place in the parking lot, starting at 4:30 p.m. So bring your Spartan spirit and make some noise for the home team in the Coliseum.
Special halftime entertainment will be Quick Change, a duo who put on a dazzling performance featuring not only a well-choreographed dance exhibition, but also a staggering number of costume changes in just a few minutes. The performers, David Maas and Dania Kaseeva, appeared on Britain's Got Talent and perform widely at NBA, WNBA and college games.
A complimentary shuttle for faculty, staff and students will run between Stirling Street in front of Elliott University Center and the Coliseum, from 4 p.m. until 30 minutes after the game.
Led by Coach Oliver Purnell, the Clemson Tigers return just two starters and 55 percent of their scoring from last year's club that finished 24th in the final AP poll. Clemson is ranked in the top 25 nationally and is the first of four Atlantic Coast Conference opponents the Spartans will face (Wake Forest, Dec. 28; N.C. State, Dec. 31; and Maryland, Jan. 3) in the Coliseum.
Tickets are available and a crowd is expected. More than 1,600 student tickets were distributed on Tuesday.
- Season tickets - Season tickets will remain on sale through Nov. 20. Packages are as low as $99 and can be obtained by calling the UNCG Athletics Ticket Office at (336) 334-3250. UNCG faculty and staff members can also still purchase faculty/staff season packages through the ticket office. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, Room 329 Health & Human Performance Building on campus. Individual tickets are on sale, as well
- Individual game tickets - Perhaps the best deal is the "4 for $44" special - 4 tickets, 4 hotdogs and 4 drinks for $44 - which is available at the Greensboro Coliseum Box Office, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday; or Ticketmaster online or by calling 1-800-735-3000.
Chancellor Linda P. Brady announced last December that the Spartan men's basketball team will move to the Coliseum and its schedule will include opponents from the ACC and other power conferences. The Greensboro Coliseum is a municipal facility with a storied college basketball heritage since it opened almost 50 years ago. The ambitious plan was unveiled Aug. 27 and features a home court in the arena and a locker room - decked out in UNCG school colors and athletics logos.
In the past 30 years, UNCG men's basketball has played 39 games in the Greensboro Coliseum, including three against ACC opponents. This year, it is scheduled to play 15. On New Year's Eve 2005, the Spartans played Duke before more than 21,000 spectators - the largest crowd ever to see a UNCG men's basketball game.
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