ELON, N.C. – A New Year’s Eve date with the Duke Blue Devils at the Greensboro Coliseum and an appearance in the Preseason NIT are just two highlights of the 2013-14 Elon University men’s basketball schedule announced today, Sept. 9, by head coach Matt Matheny.
The Phoenix, with 12 letterwinners and five starters returning from last year’s team that captured the Southern Conference North Division title and won 21 games, faces another challenging schedule this season.
“We are very excited to have been able to put together another challenging schedule that gives our team the opportunity to be battle tested throughout the season,” Matheny said. “We have some very good home games that will not only be great for our players, but also for our fans.
“We’re thrilled to be a part of a prestigious tournament like the Preseason NIT. The opportunity of potentially advancing to Madison Square Garden is another great milestone for our program. In addition, hosting one of the finest programs in the country in Duke at a great venue like the Greensboro Coliseum is a great opportunity for us.”
The Phoenix will don its home white uniforms against Duke on Dec. 31 at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C., on New Year’s Eve. This is the second straight year the Phoenix and Blue Devils have met during the regular season, as top-ranked Duke edged Elon last year at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Tip is scheduled for 1 p.m. and the game will be broadcasted live on ESPNU.
The first round of the Preseason NIT is slated for Nov. 18-19, as the Phoenix heads to the campus of Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J. The second round of the Preseason NIT takes place Nov. 25-29. If Elon wins both games at Rutgers, it advances to the Preseason NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden. If Elon drops either game at Rutgers, it advances to the semifinal round held on a to-be-determined campus site.
Following an exhibition game at home against Lynchburg on Nov. 4, the Phoenix remains in Alumni Gym for its Homecoming weekend season opener against Washington & Lee.
A pair of non-conference road games awaits Elon following its season opener, as the Phoenix hits the road to take on Marist (Nov. 10) and Charlotte (Nov. 15) prior to the Preseason NIT.
Elon opens the month of December with back-to-back non-conference home games, as it hosts Columbia on Dec. 1 and VMI on Dec. 3. Last year’s game at Columbia ended in dramatic fashion after Jack Isenbarger hit a game-winning three in the final seconds to give the Phoenix a one-point victory.
On Dec. 13, the Phoenix makes the trek out West to Boulder, Colo., for its second all-time meeting with the University of Colorado. The two teams met during the 1998-99 season in Boulder. The game will be broadcasted live on the Pac-12 Network.
Four days later, Elon heads to the nation’s capital to face the Georgetown Hoyas in Washington, D.C. It marks the third all-time meeting between Elon and Georgetown and first since the 2003-04 season. The game will be broadcasted live on CBS Sports Network.
A trip to sunny Boca Raton, Fla., on Dec. 22 precedes Elon’s New Year’s Eve tilt with Duke, as the maroon and gold takes on Florida Atlantic. Elon and FAU met in last year’s EA Sports Maui Invitational Regional Games’ Championship, as the Phoenix came away with a 62-59 overtime win.
Elon’s final season in the Southern Conference begins on Jan. 4 in Cullowhee, N.C., as the Phoenix takes on Western Carolina. Elon won both meetings versus the Catamounts last season.
Two days later, the Phoenix plays its first SoCon home contest when it welcomes instate rival Appalachian State to Alumni Gym on Jan. 6. Elon split two meetings with the Mountaineers last year, including a thrilling 61-58 victory in Alumni Gym.
Following a Jan. 11 home game against The Citadel, Elon plays the first of two much anticipated games against conference rival Davidson on Jan. 16 at Belk Arena in Davidson, N.C. Davidson makes the return trip to Elon on March 1 in the final game of the regular season.
The Phoenix jumps out of league play on Jan. 18 for a matchup with the UMass Minutemen inside Alumni Gym. The Phoenix fell just short against UMass last year in Springfield, Mass., in the Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase game, dropping a 78-73 decision in overtime.
Elon and UNCG meet for the first time of the season on Feb. 6 in Alumni Gym, as the Phoenix looks to maintain its eight-game winning streak against the Spartans. Elon makes the return trip to Greensboro, N.C., on Feb. 20. Elon also has February home games against Georgia Southern (Feb. 8), Samford (Feb. 15) and Wofford (Feb. 27).
Following its season finale against Davidson, the Phoenix makes the trek to the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville for the 2013 SoCon Tournament. Elon earned a No. 2 seed in the tournament last year and advanced to the semifinals before falling to College of Charleston.