YORK, PA – The 2013-14 York College men's basketball slate will look much different from past seasons.
The reason for the difference is the expansion of the Capital Athletic Conference. The conference now features 10 squads with the addition of Christopher Newport, PSU Harrisburg and Southern Virginia on July 1. With the change in conference alignment, the Spartans will go from 12 league games to 18 contest against conference schools. That means that 72% of the Spartans schedule will now be in-conference, a 24% jump from last year.
The slate also features eight games against teams that earned a berth in the 2013 NCAA Division III National Championship tournament.
Spartan head coach Matt Hunter believes the Capital Athletic Conference is the best league in the region.
"The CAC has become the premier league in the Mid-Atlantic Region," states Hunter. "Last year, St. Mary's, CNU, Wesley all competed in the NCAA Tournament. Salisbury won 19 games. We look forward to competing at this level night in and night out and the challenges that those conference contests present."
The Spartans will open their season by hosting the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic on November 16 & 17. York faces Gallaudet in Saturday's opening round while Jersey City and Stevens are the other two squads in the tournament. The championship and consolation contests are scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
Gettysburg invades Wolf Gymnasium for the continuation of a great local rivalry on November 20.
The Spartans then take to the road to face Messiah on November 23 before heading to Wesley on December 1 to open CAC play. The Wesley game kicks off a busy week as the Spartans will host PSU-Harrisburg on Wednesday, December 4 followed by third straight league game against Christopher Newport at home on December 7.
The Green and White then steps out of conference play for their final three non-league games of the year. York hosts Alvernia on December 21 followed by a trip to the Albright College Tournament on December 29 & 30. York plays the host Lions in the opening round and then will face either Pitt-Bradford or SUNY-Farmingdale on the 30th.
The beginning of January opens with two road games at Mary Washington on the 4th and at Marymount on the 8th. The Spartans return home for challenging contests against Salisbury and St. Mary's before a long trip to Southern Virginia on the 18th of January.
Frostburg State comes to York on the 22nd and Mary Washington heads to Wolf Gymnasium three days later. A short trip up Route 83 to PSU-Harrisburg closes out the busy January portion of the schedule.
The first day of February finds the Spartans making the six-hour journey to Christopher Newport to face the Captains in a 4:00 pm contest. York returns home to face Wesley and Marymount on February 5 and 8 before a three-game road trip to St. Mary's, Salisbury, and Frostburg State close out the regular season road schedule.
The Spartans conclude their regular season schedule on February 22 with a contest against Southern Virginia.
The CAC Tournament opens with first round action on February 25. The third seed in the tournament hosts the sixth seed while the fourth seed hosts the fifth seed with the first and second seeds receiving a bye. Only the top six teams in the league make the tournament. The semifinals will be held on February 27 followed by the conference championship game on March 1.
Coach Hunter feels the schedule will be very challenging for his young squad.
"Our non-league schedule represents a huge test that will help to prepare us for conference play. Stevens & Alvernia played in the NCAA Tourney last year and Albright played for an ECAC Championship. Messiah, Gettysburg, NJCU and Gallaudet will all be picked to make the playoffs in their respective leagues. Overall, it is a very challenging schedule."
The Spartans open practice on October 15.