Some of Iowa’s basketball opponents need no introduction. Others are prototypes used by the United States Federal Witness Protection Program.
North Carolina-Wilmington had a nice run for a while. The Seahawks made four NCAA tournament appearances between 2000 and 2006, and took out No. 4-seed USC in the first-round of the 2002 NCAAs.
But lately, UNC-Wilmington has been just another hyphen in the college basketball crowd. The last four Seahawks teams went 7-25 9-22, 13-17 and 10-20.
Buzz Peterson is in his third year as UNCW’s coach. He has been a Division I head coach since 1996, but hasn’t taken a team to the NCAA tournament since 2000. He spent four years at Appalachian State (79-39), one at Tulsa (26-11, NIT champions), four at Tennessee (61-59), one back at Appalachian State (24-13), and now is in Season 3 at Wilmington where he is 23-37.
Peterson was a teammate and roommate of Michael Jordan’s at North Carolina, and Jordan was the best man at Peterson’s wedding. They played on the Tar Heels’ 1982 NCAA championship team.
The Seahawks were picked to finish eighth in the nine-team Colonial Athletic Conference this season by the league’s coaches, media and media relations directors.
“I don’t put a lot of stock in the preseason polls,” said Peterson. “We use it as motivation for our guys. It’s definitely chalkboard material.”
So he is putting some stock in it after all. Otherwise, why mention it to his team at all?
In the Seahawks’ game against a Big Ten team last season, they lost at Purdue, 66-40.
UNCW plays at Iowa State Sunday in the Cyclones’ season-opener. The Seahawks crushed their exhbition-game competition, beating Belmont Abbey, 101-51, and Methodist, 92-51,
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