Russ Bergman will be 6,700 miles and 15 time zones away when Coastal Carolina tips off against top-seeded Virginia in Friday’s second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Actually, it will be Saturday in Vladivostok – where Bergman coaches in the professional Russian Super A League – when he sits down in his apartment near the Sea of Japan to watch the Chanticleers play their first NCAA Tournament game in 21 years.

Bergman, who guided Coastal to a first-round game against Michigan’s “Fab Five” in 1993, bought a television package that will allow him to watch every 2014 NCAA Tournament game. He stayed up into the early morning hours March 10 (March 9 in the United States) to watch the Chants beat Winthrop in the Big South Conference title game to claim their NCAA berth.

“I want to congratulate everybody at Coastal,” Bergman, 66, said Saturday in a conversation via Skype. “It’s great for the players, the fans and the school. Coach (Cliff) Ellis has done a fantastic job getting them there.”

Bergman, who coached at Coastal for 19 years, has traveled many miles in the two decades since leaving Coastal in 1994 during an NCAA investigation that resulted in an individual ban for the coach and probation for the basketball program.

He won a Continental Basketball Association championship coaching the Oklahoma City Cavalry. He served as a scout for the NBA’s Utah Jazz during its heyday with Karl Malone and John Stockton. Prior to going to Russia, he coached the CBA’s Great Lakes Storm.

Since 2005, Bergman has coached in Russia. First at BC Khimki Moscow of the Russian Super A League, he’s now head coach of Vladivostok’s Spartak Primorye. He spends his summers in Myrtle Beach, where he and his wife Anne, an elementary school teacher, have a home.

Vladivostok, a seven-hour flight from Moscow, is isolated on the Pacific Ocean. But Bergman said he’s adjusted well to the cold climate and various cultural differences. He said he stays in touch with former players via Facebook.

“It’s not that much different, especially on the basketball court,” he said. “The players over here watch the NBA and try to emulate what they see from those players. The game is pretty much the same.”

Much of the game has changed for Coastal – from uniform colors to a new home arena – since 1993.

Coastal’s 1992-93 team, which finished 22-10 after the 84-52 loss to Michigan, was led by senior Tony Dunkin, who averaged 23.9 points per game while earning conference player of the year honors for an NCAA-record fourth time.

The team’s second-leading scorer, Marquis “KeKe” Hicks, a 3-point marksman who averaged 18.7 points that season after transferring from the University of Oklahoma, hopes to get a close-up look at the current Chants at Raleigh’s PNC Arena.

“I might go to Raleigh – if I can work it out,” he said. “I’m excited about it. They might be able to give (Virginia) a good game.”

Hicks wants to get back to the NCAA Tournament as a coach in the near future. A graduate assistant at Georgia Tech, he hopes to land a full-time assistant position for the 2014-15 season, possibly with his hometown Yellow Jackets.

At Tech, Hicks works primarily with guards.

“I’ve become much more of a student of the game since I decided to get into college coaching,” he said. “I see the game in an entirely different way than I did as a player.”

Mohammed Acha and Joey Hart, transfers that season from Vincennes (Ind.) University, also averaged double figures in scoring for the 1992-93 team. No other Chant player averaged more than four points per game.

Local players on the roster included Myrtle Beach High’s Alfonso Grissett, now a car dealer in Atlanta, and Conway High’s Mickey Wilson, now the football coach at Myrtle Beach High.

Acha provided Coastal’s most-memorable highlight against Michigan with a powerful breakaway dunk.

A photo of the dunk with Michigan’s Chris Webber watching in the background filled the back cover of Coastal’s media guide the next season.

Acha played professionally in Lebanon and was a member of the Nigerian national team. He died of a heart attack in 2002. Bergman said Acha had a heart murmur when he played at Coastal, and was closely monitored.

Hart has enjoyed a successful high school coaching career, leading Linton High to consecutive Indiana Class 2A sectional championship in 2013 and 2014.