The 14th-seeded UNC Asheville Bulldogs play the third-seeded University of Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington, at 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 19. The game will be nationally broadcast on ESPN2. UNC Asheville will host a free viewing party for fans at the Grotto in Highsmith Union. The Alumni Association will host a watch party at Asheville Pizza and Brewing on Merrimon Ave. in Asheville. For more information, visit uncabulldogs.com.
The Big South Championship came to campus this year, March 10-13, giving the Bulldogs the home-court advantage and a berth to the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs also become the first host to win the tournament since they accomplished the feat in 2007.
The UNC Asheville Women’s Basketball team punched their ticket to the big dance, topping off a record-setting season with a double overtime victory over Liberty University and a Big South Conference Championship Crown on Sunday afternoon.
The UNC Asheville Women’s Basketball team delivered a 10-point win over Presbyterian College (65-55) to advance to the championship game. That semifinal match-up set a new Big South Conference Championship Tournament record for most combined three-point field goals. Presbyterian delivered 11 three-pointers, while Asheville added eight to combine for 19 made field goals in the first semifinal game of the day. The Bulldogs’ eight three-pointers were divided between Major and Knuckles with four each.
The UNC Asheville Women’s Basketball team defeated Campbell University 70-42 in the Big South Conference Championship quarterfinals to advance to the semifinal game. Asheville came ready to play, jumping out to a quick 13-2 lead over the Camels. The Bulldogs would build their lead to as many as 13 points by the end of the first quarter. Asheville would not surrender the lead for the duration of the game. The Bulldogs maintained a consistent presence throughout the day, shooting 35 percent from the field and holding the Camels to only 40 points for a 28-point victory.
On March 5, the UNC Asheville Women’s Basketball team defeated High Point University (85-64) in the Justice Center to capture the Big South Conference regular season crown for the first time in program history.
In addition to the team trophy, head coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick and three Bulldogs brought home top honors in the Big South Conference’s annual postseason awards. Asheville junior Chatori Major was awarded the league’s highest honor of the 2015-16 Big South Conference Player of the year. Junior, Tianna Knuckles earned second-team All-Conference honors and senior Paige Love was selected for the Conference’s All-Academic Team. Coach Kirkpatrick was elected as the 2015-16 Big South Conference Coach of the year. Kirkpatrick and the Bulldogs captured the Big South Conference regular season crown for the first time in program history this year, and set a new school record for most Big South Conference wins at 16, replacing a previous best of nine. Asheville was picked to finish 8th in the Big South Conference Preseason Poll in late October.
Asheville becomes just the third school to win both the men’s and women’s basketball championship in the same season, joining Liberty (2004 and 2013). Both teams advance to the NCAA Tournament.
Read more about the Bulldogs at http://uncabulldogs.com/