NCAAB East Carolina Pirates

General Info

  • Founded: 1931

  • Conference: American Athletic Conference (AAC)

  • Past Conferences: Conference USA (C-USA), Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference South (ECACS), Independent, Southern Conference

  • Arena: Williams Arena at Minges

  • City: Greenville, North Carolina

Championships and Titles

  • 2 Conference Tournament Championships

Team History

East Carolina’s (ECU) men’s basketball program was established in 1931 as the first intercollegiate sport for the university. The Pirates joined the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) North State Conference (NSC) in 1947 and won a few conference titles.

In 1964, the school made the jump to NCAA Division I but was not recognized as a major program until the 1966-67 season, as part of the Southern Conference. Under coach Tom Quinn, the Pirates became major players in the conference. It culminated with a tournament championship in 1972 and the school’s first trip to March Madness. 

However, the program had difficulty progressing further and would generally field losing teams under several head coaches. Even with Theodore “Blue” Edwards, a Pirates’ team stats leader in the late 80s, ECU struggled. The Pirates briefly returned to the NCAA Tournament during the 1992-93 season by winning the Colonial Athletic Association’s tournament. 

Lester Lyons, who went on to become the all-time East Carolina Pirates’ team stats leader in scoring, led the team’s postseason success. That would be the lone bright spot for the program until the 2010s, under Jeff Lebo. 

The Pirates, now a member of the Conference USA, would win the 2013 Postseason Tournament. Afterwards, moving on to the American Athletic Conference (AAC) in 2014, the Pirates remained small fry. 

Bettors can constantly find this team as an underdog on the NCAAB odds boards. As one, ECU have had some profitable seasons, although their records for the 2022 season reveal them as a mediocre team at best.  

All-Time East Carolina Pirates Records

  • Points Scored

    • Lester Lyons: 1,825

    • Caleb White: 1,578

    • B.J. Tyson: 1,570

  • Rebounds

    • Erroyl Bing: 939

    • Larry Hunt: 906

    • Jim Gregory: 852

  • Assists

    • Brock Young: 612

    • Miguel Paul: 419

    • Travis Holcomb-Faye: 413



  1. Has East Carolina Ever Made an NCAA Tournament?


East Carolina (ECU) has qualified for two NCAA Tournaments as of 2022: 1972 and 1993. They qualified by winning the conference tournament. 


  1. Is East Carolina a Division I School? 


The school joined NCAA Division I before the 1966-67 season. Before that, East Carolina (ECU) competed under the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).


  1. Where Are the East Carolina Pirates Located?


The East Carolina Pirates are in Greenville, North Carolina. It is considered the fourth-largest university under the University of North Carolina system.

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