GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU Media Relations) – Ten games against teams that participated in the 2016 NCAA Basketball Tournament highlight East Carolina’s 2016-17 men’s basketball schedule, revealed by the American Athletic Conference Thursday. With a minimum of 13 games versus teams that competed in postseason play last season, more than 40 percent of the Pirates’ docket will be against squads, which advanced beyond their conference tournaments.Read the entire Basketball Schedule here
ECU, which opens the season against Grambling State at home Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11), will play 17 games inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum with nine against American Athletic Conference foes and two as a part of the inaugural Savannah Invitational. Five of those 17 contests are against 2016 NCAA Tournament teams: Cincinnati, Hampton, Temple, Tulsa, and UConn, plus a game against NIT participant Houston.
In addition to Houston, Temple, Tulsa and UConn, the Pirates will also host conference foes SMU, Tulane, UCF and USF as part of a home-and-home series. Each American Athletic Conference team plays eight of its 10 conference opponents twice and the other two opponents once each – one at home and one on the road. The Pirates’ home game against Cincinnati will be its only matchup with the Bearcats, while they will travel to Memphis for their only regular season meeting with the Tigers.
East Carolina will open conference play Dec. 28 at home against USF and then host SMU on New Year’s Eve. The months of January and February are each comprised of three league home games and four away contests before welcoming UConn to Greenville for Senior Day on March 1 and closing out the regular season at Houston on March 5.
Eleven of the Pirates’ 18 American Athletic Conference games will be televised on either ESPNEWS or ESPNU, with the remaining seven games carried by the American Sports Network, CBS Sports Network or ESPN3. All of the games included in the ESPN package (ESPNU and ESPNEWS), as well as the ASN telecasts, will be available online via WatchESPN, and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app.
The Pirates will play three true road games during the non-conference portion of the schedule, opening its road slate Nov. 17 in Charlotte against the 49ers at Halton Arena. ECU will make its first visit to Charlottesville on Dec. 6 to face 2016 NCAA Midwest Regional Finalist Virginia before heading to Wilmington to take 2016 CAA champion UNCW at Trask Coliseum Dec. 20.
Savannah Invitational play begins for the Pirates at home against Stetson (Nov. 20) and Florida A&M (Nov. 22) before heading to the coastal empire to face Mercer (Nov. 25) in bracket play. ECU will then face either Air Force or Akron the following evening.
The 2016-17 non-conference home schedule also includes visits by N.C. A&T (Nov. 14), N.C. Central (Dec. 3), College of Charleston (Dec. 15) and Presbyterian (Dec. 22).
The 2017 American Basketball Championship will be held at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., March 9-12 with all 11 league members competing for the league’s automatic invitation to the NCAA Championship.