For those who like the CIAA conference games in basketball are in for a surprise this season – a 22-game regular-season schedule.

Unlike in past years where opponents play twice within the same division and once in the other division, schools will now play everybody twice.

Winston-Salem State’s schedule for both the men’s and the women’s features exhibitions with Division I programs. The men’s team will take on North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Nov. 1, and the women’s team will take on N.C. Central in Roanoke, Va. on Nov. 3 and will also play at Elon on Nov. 5.

The CIAA tournaments will be held in Charlotte from Feb. 24-29 for the last time for a while. The CIAA’s crown jewels will move to Baltimore for the 2021, ’22 and ’23 tournaments.

Coach Cleo Hill Jr. of the Rams is looking forward to his second season in Winston-Salem.

“There are pros and cons with the 22-game schedule,” Hill said. “There are obviously less non-conference games that you are free to schedule because the CIAA games take up most of our schedule space.”

Hill said having the exhibition game at North Carolina will get his team’s attention.

“That’s an experience they will like playing in the Dean Dome so we’re excited about the opportunity,” Hill said.

Coach L'Tona Lamonte said the new schedule will take some time getting used to.

"I’m excited about this upcoming season," Lamonte said. "It is definitely a little different having 22 CIAA games. I do miss having an opportunity to play nine non-conference games to establish our team philosophies and tendencies prior to conference."

Lamonte said getting two exhibition games with Division I opponents is a good way to start the season.

"We are excited about playing N.C. Central in an exhibition game," she said about playing the Eagles, where she used to be an assistant coach. "We hope our non-conference games will prepare our team early for the toughness of the CIAA we have to bring this year from day one."

2019-20 WSSU Men's Schedule: Nov. 1 - at North Carolina (exh.), TBA; Nov. 12 - UNC Pembroke, 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 15 - Fort Valley State, 8 p.m.; Nov. 16 - Morehouse, 4 p.m.; Nov. 19 - Piedmont International, 7 p.m.; Nov. 23 - Bowie State, 4 p.m.; Nov. 25 - Lincoln (Pa.), 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 2 - at Claflin, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 7 - at Elizabeth City State, 4 p.m.; Dec. 12 - at Virginia State, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 14 - at Virginia Union; Dec. 21 - St. Aug's, 4 p.m.; Jan. 4 - at Bowie State, 4 p.m.; Jan. 9, Virginia State, 7:30 p.m.; Jan. 11 - Virginia Union, 4 p.m.; Jan. 13 - Elizabeth City State, 7:30 p.m.; Jan. 20 - Claflin, 7:30 p.m.; Jan. 25 - Fayetteville State, 4 p.m.; Jan. 27 - at Shaw, 8 p.m.; Jan. 30 - J.C. Smith, 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 1 - at Livingstone, 4 p.m.; Feb. 3 - at Lincoln (Pa.), 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 8 - at Saint Aug's, 4 p.m.; Feb. 10 - Shaw, 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 15 - at Fayetteville State, 4 p.m.; Feb. 19 - at J.C. Smith, 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 22 - Livingstone, 4 p.m.; Feb. 24-29 - CIAA Tournament in Charlotte.

2019-20 WSSU Women's Schedule: Nov. 3 - N.C. Central (exh.), Roanoke, Va., 3 p.m.; Nov. 5 - at Elon (exh.); Nov. 9 - vs. Notre Dame College (at Insitute, W.Va.), 6 p.m.; Nov. 10 - at West Virginia State, 3 p.m.; Nov. 12 - Converse, 5:30 p.m.; Nov. 15 - Piedmont International, 4 p.m.; Nov. 20 - at West Liberty State, 5:30 p.m.; Nov. 23 - Bowie State, 2 p.m.; Nov. 25 - Lincoln (Pa.), 5:30 p.m.; Dec. 2 - at Claflin, 5:30 p.m.; Dec. 7 - at Elizabeth City State, 2 p.m.; Dec. 12 - at Virginia State, 5:30 p.m.; Dec. 14 - at Virginia Union, 2 p.m.; Dec. 21 - St. Aug's, 2 p.m.; Jan. 1, at USC Aiken, 4 p.m.; Jan. 4, at Bowie State, 2 p.m.; Jan. 9 - Virginia State, 5:30 p.m.; Jan. 11 - Va. Union, 2 p.m.; Jan. 13 - Elizabeth City State, 5:30 p.m.; Jan. 20 - Claflin, 5:30 p.m.; Jan. 25 - Fayetteville State, 2 p.m.; Jan. 27 - at Shaw, 5:30 p.m.; Jan. 30 - J.C. Smith, 5:30 p.m.; Feb. 1 - at Liv-ingstone, 2 p.m.; Feb. 3 - at Lincoln (Pa.), 5:30 p.m.; Feb. 8 - at Saint Aug’s, 2 p.m.; Feb. 10 - Shaw, 5:30 p.m.; Feb. 15 - at Fayetteville State, 2 p.m.; Feb. 19 - at Johnson C. Smith, 5:30 p.m.; Feb. 22 - Livingstone, 2 p.m.; Feb. 24-29 - CIAA Tournament in Charlotte

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