University Of North Carolina At Wilmington Seahawks
The UNCW Seahawks open the conference on Saturday and are looking to return to the postseason for the first time since their first-round loss to UNC Chapel Hill last season. The Seahawks blew a 33-19 halftime lead and looked like a team poised to win its first title since 2010 when they outscored their opponents 31-7 in the second half.
The Campbells' top scorer was blocked in the second half by UNC Wilmington because Jordan Whitfield kept him at his lowest point of the season. Last season's top scorer, junior guard Jordan Williams, flirted with a double-double, scoring 15 points and nine rebounds.
The Seahawks also had their best defensive performance of the season against the Campbells, with seven steals and three blocks in the first half.
Unsurprisingly, the Seahawks' 520-percent shooting is the second-best in the country and they are also the top-five in the country in home games. (82) this season. KenPom has UNC Wilmington ranked 22nd in the national 3-point shooting rate, shooting 56 percent on the season, but they also rank 15th in RPI (10th) in field goal percentage (44.5 percent), while ESPN and the NCAA both rank UNC - Wilmington ranked 15th - as the most efficient team in college basketball, averaging more than 30 points per game, slightly ahead of Wake Forest. While the Hornets may be able to score more points than in their last three games, UNC-Wilmington ranks 241st out of 357 schools in terms of offensive efficiency, according to ESPN.
The other teams in the Columbia Regional will have their hands full limiting the UNCW's offensive line, and the pitching teams have shown up, too. The Seahawks are one of the toughest teams to face this weekend, but if turnovers are minimized, the Seahawks have a chance to shock Virginia and advance to the NCAA tournament.
The Seahawks have been a constant and continue to improve on the field and have started consistently to reach the NCAA tournament. The Seahawks continue to work toward their goal of reaching Omaha, but don't be surprised if the season progresses and the Seahawks continue to try to lay claim to being one of the top teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference and perhaps even the nation.
Played a decent non-conference schedule, went 1-1 against UNC and NC State, dropped two midweek games to Coastal Carolina, but beat opponents like UNC - Notre Dame twice this season. UNC Wilmington gave up a late victory over St. Bonaventure after a lead by Denzel Ingram at the baseline. Scored a 3-0 record against the top teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference and has also beaten UNC and Notre Dame twice this season.
After winning just nine games last year, the Seahawks doubled that in 2015, surprised the Colonial Athletics Association and won part of the regular season. The Seahawks continued their 2016 success, setting a school record with a 9-0 Atlantic Coast Conference record and a 12-1 overall record.
UNC played Wilmington in the Colonial Athletics Association's Atlantic Conference in 2004, 2006, 2012 and 2015, winning three of its four conference titles. UNC - Wilmington Seahawks reached a 12-1 record in 2015 and a 9-0 record for the second straight season.
The Seahawks' biggest success in the tournament came in 2002, when they made their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance, but failed this time. In 2006, the Seahawks won their ninth title but lost in overtime to eighth-seeded George Washington 88-85. The 13th-seeded Seahawks shocked fourth-seeded University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a 93-89 overtime victory in their final home game of the season. They made it to their second consecutive NCAA tournament in 2007 and 2008, but fell both times.
The Seahawks joined the ECAC South Conference, also known as the Colonial Athletics Association, in 1984 and the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1987.
Besides UNC and Duke, the Seahawks and UNC Asheville are the only North Carolina programs to participate in the NCAA tournament a year ago. The team has represented UNCW 119 times, including nine times in NCAA finals, with a record of 12-4-1 in conference games.
The men's tennis team won the Colonial Athletics Association title last year by beating Virginia Commonwealth University 6-1 in the final of the NCAA tournament in Chapel Hill. UNCW's best regular-season result came in 2010, when the Seahawks finished with a 9-4 record, with wins over UNC Asheville, UNC Charlotte, North Carolina State, James Madison and UNC Wilmington.
North Carolina State and Wake Forest are the obvious candidates for the third-best team, but a few emerging middle- majors should be considered in the discussion. Here are some strong looks to take in when you're interested in the men's and women's tennis programs at UNC Wilmington. I am I expect UNC-Wilmington would give me the resources to hire experienced staff. Sometimes those attitudes explode in the face of a school, and that's one of them.