WILMINGTON, North Carolina – With the exception of final times and date changes due to live television, the 2016-17 men's basketball schedule for UNCW's defending Colonial Athletic Association champions came into clearer focus on Thursday with the release of the conference slate.
The Seahawks, who went 14-4 in regular season league play in 2015-16, open defense of their title on New Year's Eve against Towson's Tigers at SECU Arena. It's the lone game in December for Kevin Keatts' third club.
UNCW plays nine games in the first month of the year, including four at home and five away from Trask Coliseum. The Seahawks host their first conference home game on Jan. 2, 2017, vs. Elon before closing out the month with five road dates in an eight-game span.
The league docket switches back in the favor of the Seahawks down the stretch, however. UNCW opens the critical month of February with successive home dates against Charleston, Delaware and James Madison and after three straight road tilts at Elon, Northeastern and Hofstra, wraps up the regular campaign back in the friendly confines of Trask Coliseum with Towson and Northeastern.
The Seahawks then trek down U.S. Route 17 to compete in the CAA Championships on March 3-6 at the North Charleston Civic Center.
UNCW earlier released its non-conference schedule, highlighted by a three-game round-robin tournament during the Thanksgiving holiday in musical hotbed Nashville and a clash with former head coach Brad Brownell's Clemson club.
The Seahawks, who captured their first CAA title in 10 seasons with last year's sterling 25-8 record, return the bulk of their lineup for the new season, including CAA First-Teamer and CAA Tournament MVP Chris Flemmings and high-motor guard and Third-Team All-CAA selection Denzel Ingram.