The 55-game schedule also features six opponents (13 games) that have been NCAA Tournament participants over the last two seasons, and eight Big South series, including four at Jim Perry Stadium.
“I’m excited about our schedule,” said head coach Justin Haire. “It challenges us in all the right places. Certainly with Ohio State, who went to a regional last year, coming to town and making a trip to Georgia Southern on spring break, who’s another good program. We come back with Evansville out of the Missouri Valley, and then hit the road in a tournament setting at Richmond.”
“Our goal is to win the Big South Championship, make it to a regional and have a legitimate shot at making it to Omaha,” said Haire. “The best way to do that and the best way to prepare is to bring in regional quality programs as often as we can.”
15 of CU’s first 17 games will come at Jim Perry Stadium, including its first 10. The Camels open the season Feb. 17, beginning a three game series against Northern Kentucky. Campbell hosts East Carolina for its first midweek clash on Feb. 22. The Camels make the return trip to Greenville on May 16.
Campbell hosts Quinnipiac Feb. 24-26, closing its homestand with Ohio State March 3-5 before making its first road trip of the season March 7-8 to Georgia Southern.
The Camels also host Evansville March 10-12 and Rider March 14-15, then traveling to Richmond for a tournament, also featuring Michigan State and Cornell March 17-19.
Campbell’s nonconference schedule also includes North Carolina State (March 21 at Raleigh, N.C.), Virginia Tech (March 28 at Blacksburg, Va., May 2 at Buies Creek), UNC Wilmington (April 4 at Wilmington, N.C., April 25 at Buies Creek), Duke (April 11 at Buies Creek, May 9 at Durham, N.C.), North Carolina Central (April 18 and May 10 at Durham, N.C.) and North Carolina (April 26 at Chapel Hill, N.C.).
The Big South Conference season begins at Gardner-Webb (March 24-26). Campbell will host Charleston Southern in its Big South home opener, March 31-April 2.
“I think our conference, as you could tell last season with five teams being within a game of second place, is fairly even,” said Haire. “I think everyone is trying to see who can fill that void with Coastal Carolina being gone. I think for us, we have to get out to a hot start and put ourselves in position. Hopefully we’re healthy and ready to rock and roll as we get into the conference season.”
Campbell also hosts Radford (April 13-15), UNC Asheville (April 21-23) and Longwood (May 18-20) in league play. Trips to High Point (April 7-9), Liberty (May 5-7) and Winthrop (May 12-14) round out the Camels’ Big South slate.
“We have a good challenge going to Gardner-Webb right out of the shoot,” added Haire. “That will be a good gauge of who we are. We did the same thing in 2013, winning the series there that included a big come-back win on Sunday. That got us off to a great start in our conference season that year, and hopefully we can do the same thing this season. We hope to put ourselves in good position to battle for one of the top spots heading down the stretch.”
The 2017 Big South Championship will be held in Lexington, S.C., May 23-27.