Five NCAA foes line slate for 2017-18 men’s basketball schedule

Five NCAA foes line slate for 2017-18 men’s basketball schedule

VIDEO: Chuck Benson Interview

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. –  Carson-Newman head men's basketball Chuck Benson unveiled the Eagles' 2017-18 schedule Monday morning that features five of the eight teams that made last season's NCAA Southeast Regional.

"Like most other seasons, we've scheduled to challenge ourselves," Benson said. "Like other seasons, the South Atlantic Conference is strong.  Then, we were very intentional about scheduling tough for our nonconference slate with in-region schools who are quality opponents."

Nonconference foes Columbus State and Limestone both made last year's NCAA tournament, while SAC opponents Wingate, Queens and Lincoln Memorial all went dancing. 

For the first time since 2012, Carson-Newman will open its season with an exhibition contest. The Eagles will debut at Thompson-Boling Arena on Nov. 2 against the University of Tennessee.  

"Having so many kids on our roster who are native Tennesseans, it's exciting to have that opportunity and that stage," Benson said. "It'll be the first opportunity to have this version of the Eagles on the court together. I hope we take a lot away from it."

Carson-Newman opens up year three of a SAC/Peach Belt challenge to kick off the season in Anderson, S.C. The Eagles open the year against Lander Friday, Nov. 10, before taking on Southern Wesleyan on Saturday.

The Eagles stay away from Holt Fieldhouse for a third straight game to open the year before challenging Virginia-Wise on Nov. 15 in the Clinch Valley.  Wise took Carson-Newman to overtime last year before the Eagles prevailed 96-91. 

That leads Carson-Newman into a four-game home stand. 

King gets back onto the schedule for the first time in half a decade. 

"We're in year three of this SAC/Peach Belt challenge and we've enjoyed that experience," Benson said. "You get out of that and take on a feisty UVA-Wise team, then King comes to town.  Anytime you bring a George Pitts-coached team in as an opponent, it's unbelievably difficult. He's won 900,000 some games it feels like and those opening foes will all provide a great test for us."

The Eagles break a week for Thanksgiving before coming back to Holt Fieldhouse on Nov. 25.  The Eagles play host to Lee and Columbus State in a two-day span. 

C-N then opens up conference play on Nov. 29 against Mars Hill to conclude the four-game homestand, the longest such homestand of the season. 

December takes the Eagles to the Palmetto State for back-to-back games against Newberry and Anderson, two teams the Eagles swept last season. 

The Eagles play three of the next four at home to close out the fall semester.  Carson-Newman welcomes Coker, Lenoir-Rhyne and Limestone to Holt Fieldhouse while making a trip to Queens on Dec. 13 to take on Queens, a team that has been ranked second in the country by a pair of preseason publications.  The Eagles close out nonconference play with a trip to the Queen City to take on Johnson C. Smith, a team which this C-N senior class has never beaten.   

"Limestone comes off an NCAA tournament run and they do a great job reloading," Benson said. "Then we come back and have the painful challenge of playing Johnson C. Smith. They've completely dominated us on the road and at home.  Those Limestone and Smith games before we jump fully into SAC play in the second semester will be very good for preparing us for league play."

The second half of the semester features a balanced schedule that never sees Carson-Newman away from home more than two games at a time.  Rivalry matchups with Tusculum on Jan. 10 and Feb. 14, as well as nationally-ranked Lincoln Memorial on Jan. 17 and Feb. 21 headline the second half of the season.  The Eagles wrap up the regular season on Feb. 24 against Wingate for senior day at Holt Fieldhouse.

"It used to be that the Peach Belt was the consistently dominant conference in this region," Benson said. "But thanks to LMU, Queens, Wingate, Anderson, Catawba, and I think we're in there too, you have some teams that are playing at really high level. I think collectively as a conference, we are happy to have that level of competition that prepares us so well for postseason play."

All games will be broadcast on the Eagle Sports Network on Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at




Nov. 02, 2017

at Tennessee #


7:00 PM

Nov. 10, 2017

vs. Lander @ Anderson, S.C


5:30 PM

Nov. 11, 2017

vs. Southern Wesleyan @ Anderson, S.C


1:00 PM

Nov. 15, 2017

at Virginia-Wise


7:30 PM

Nov. 18, 2017

King (Tenn.)


7:30 PM

Nov. 25, 2017



4:00 PM

Nov. 26, 2017

Columbus St.


3:00 PM

Nov. 29, 2017

Mars Hill *


8:00 PM

Dec. 02, 2017

at Newberry *


4:00 PM

Dec. 06, 2017

at Anderson (S.C.) *


8:00 PM

Dec. 09, 2017

Coker *


4:00 PM

Dec. 13, 2017

at Queens (N.C.) *


8:00 PM

Dec. 16, 2017

Lenoir-Rhyne *


4:00 PM

Dec. 19, 2017



7:00 PM

Jan. 02, 2018

at Johnson C. Smith


6:00 PM

Jan. 06, 2018

Catawba *


4:00 PM

Jan. 10, 2018

at Tusculum *


8:00 PM

Jan. 13, 2018

at Wingate *


4:00 PM

Jan. 17, 2018

Lincoln Memorial *


8:00 PM

Jan. 20, 2018

Newberry *


4:00 PM

Jan. 24, 2018

at Mars Hill *


8:00 PM

Jan. 27, 2018

at Coker *


4:00 PM

Jan. 31, 2018

Anderson (S.C.) *


8:00 PM

Feb. 03, 2018

at Lenoir-Rhyne *


4:00 PM

Feb. 10, 2018

Queens (N.C.) *


4:00 PM

Feb. 14, 2018

Tusculum *


8:00 PM

Feb. 17, 2018

at Catawba *


4:00 PM

Feb. 21, 2018

at Lincoln Memorial *


8:00 PM

Feb. 24, 2018

Wingate *


4:00 PM

Cheer camp set for July
April 8, 2018 Cheer camp set for July