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Asheville Will Host Two NCAA Conference Tournaments This Weekend

A busy basketball weekend in Asheville will now be even more so.  Not only will the Southern Conference host both it's men's and women's basketball championships at the U.S. Cellular Center, but the quarter and semi-final rounds of the Big South men's basketball championship will be played at the Kimmel Arena on the campus of UNC-Asheville.  That's because the Bulldogs clinched the Big South regular season championship over the weekend.  Doing so means the Bulldogs will play at home during the Big South tournament as long as they are in it.


UNC-Asheville's first game will be Thursday evening at 7 against the winner of Tuesday's nights contest between Presbyterian and Charleston Southern.  If the Bulldogs win that game, they will play the winner of Liberty-Campbell on Friday at 8 p.m.  If UNC-Asheville wins that, it would host the Big South men's title game Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. on ESPN.  The Bulldogs lost only one game at Kimmel Arena this year, to Liberty in overtime on February 15th.  PRINTABLE BRACKET

The UNC-Asheville women's team hasn't completed its regular season yet.  The Big South women's championship takes place March 8-11 at Liberty University.  The Lady Bulldogs will play their first game in that tournament March 9th.  They won last year's tournament to make the NCAA tournament.


The Southern Conference championships start on Thursday with four women's games.  The first features Western Carolina University taking on regular season champion Mercer at 11 a.m.  If the Catamounts win, they would face the winner of Furman-Samford on Friday morning at 11 a.m.  Western Carolina finished last in the conference with a 1-13 record in Southern Conference play, and a 5-24 mark overall.  The women's championship game will be played Sunday afternoon at 12.

The men's tournament starts Friday evening with The Citadel playing Virginia Military Institute at 5 followed by Samford facing Chattanooga at 7:30.  Four quarterfinal contests will be played Saturday, the last of which at 8:30 featuring Western Carolina against Furman.  The Catamounts would face defending champion East Tennessee State, Samford, or Chattanooga if they win.  Western Carolina finished 6th in the regular season with an 8-10 conference record and 13-18 overall.  Semi-finals take place Sunday at 4 and 6:30 with the title game Monday night at 9 p.m. and broadcast on ESPN2.  PRINTABLE BRACKET

Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016. Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C. For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor. Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis. Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.