WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Buzz Peterson is going home.
The UNCW men’s basketball coach will take his team to his alma mater this year, as the Seahawks take on UNC in Chapel Hill New Year’s Eve.
The match-up with the Tar Heels highlights UNCW’s non-conference schedule, which also includes a game against in-state rival East Carolina.
“We’re very excited about our non-conference schedule and look forward to the new season,” said Peterson, who begins his fourth campaign with the Seahawks. “The first part of the schedule is obviously very challenging. We want to put our guys in situations that will help them later on in league play, so we have some very good road games that will accomplish that.”
The Seahawks and Pirates are set to play the next four years and meet for the first time since 2008 when the pair of longtime rivals collide on Dec. 1 at Minges Coliseum in Greenville. UNCW owns a 33-27 advantage in the series, but ECU claimed a 99-85 victory on Dec. 3, 2008, in the last pairing between the two former Colonial Athletic Association rivals.
Peterson, a member of North Carolina’s 1982 national championship team, returns to his alma mater on Dec. 31 when the Seahawks take on the Tar Heels to wrap up the calendar year. The two state schools play for only the third time. They last played on Dec. 28, 2004, when the Tar Heels claimed a 96-75 verdict at the Smith Center.
Iowa, Iowa State, Stephen F. Austin and Western Kentucky appear on the UNCW schedule for the first time. Overall, the Seahawks will take on teams from 10 different conferences this fall, including eight opponents in the CAA.
The Seahawks will tip off against eight non-conference teams that advanced to the postseason one year ago: NCAA (Iowa State, Liberty, UNC Chapel Hill, Western Kentucky), NIT (Charleston Southern, Iowa, Stephen F. Austin), CIT (East Carolina).
The Seahawks, who went 10-20 overall and 5-7 against non-league opponents last season, entertain Belmont Abbey in an exhibition game on Oct. 30 and play another exhibition against Methodist on Nov. 3 before kicking off the regular season with a two-game swing to the Upper Midwest to face the Hawkeyes and Cyclones.
The non-conference schedule has a distinct state flavor. The Seahawks will play two state opponents (Belmont Abbey and Methodist) in exhibition games and five others (Campbell, East Carolina, UNC Asheville, UNC Chapel Hill and Wingate) during the course of the regular season.
The front part of the schedule is also road heavy. The Seahawks play six of their first seven games away from Trask Coliseum, split by a home date against Wingate on Nov. 16.
Former guard Keith Adkins returns to his alma mater in late November when the Campbellsville head coach brings his Tigers to Trask Coliseum. Adkins appeared in 55 games for the Seahawks in 1992 and 1993 and ranks first in career 3-point field goal percentage (.457) and second in single season free throw percentage (.918 in 1991-92).
Overall, UNCW has 31 games on the slate, 16 in the CAA and 15 against non-conference foes.