UNCW Seahawks ready to soar to Providence


WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW) — The UNCW men’s basketball team will make its fifth NCAA Tournament appearance at a new location against a familiar foe – the Duke Blue Devils.

The Seahawks, newly-crowned champions of the Colonial Athletic Association and sporting a 25-7 record, are the No. 13 seed in the West Region and will battle No. 4-seeded Duke on Thursday at 12:15 p.m. at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. The game will be broadcast on CBS.

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Pairings for the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship were announced late Sunday and approximately 1,300 Seahawk faithful assembled to hear the news. The trip to Providence marks the first NCAA venture for the Seahawks in a decade after titles in 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2006.

“We got a tough draw against a very good basketball team,” said Kevin Keatts, UNCW’s second-year head coach and two-time CAA Coach-of-the-Year. “Our guys are extremely excited about the opportunity. Everyone knows what time of program Duke has and Coach K is one of the best in the business and he does a tremendous job. It’s going to be a big test for us.”

The Seahawks and Blue Devils have only played once and Duke prevailed in overtime, 67-57, on Feb. 8, 1982.

UNCW owns a 1-4 record in the NCAA Tournament, playing in Nashville (2000 and 2003), Sacramento (2002) and Greensboro (2006).

The Seahawks’ lone win in the NCAA Tournament came on March 14, 2002, when UNCW, led by all-time great Brett Blizzard, stunned No. 4-seeded Southern California, 93-89, in overtime at Arco Arena.

Tickets will be $100 for UNCW’s session and will go on sale Monday.