ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville men's basketball team has been awarded the Jack Dalton Award as the top collegiate men's team in Western North Carolina by the Mountain Amateur Athletic Club on Monday.
This is the third time that an Eddie Biedenbach-coached team has earned this honor. The Bulldogs also won in 1998 and 2003.
Asheville enjoyed a stellar 2010-11 season as the Bulldogs won the Big South Conference championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history. Biedenbach's team captured the championship with a 60-47 victory over top-seeded Coastal Carolina on the Chanticleers home court in Conway, S.C.
The Bulldogs became the first team in Big South Conference history to win a second NCAA Tournament game when Asheville slipped past Arkansas Little-Rock 81-77 in the tournament's first round. The Dogs also won a tournament game in 2003. Asheville finished the season with a loss to to-seeded Pittsburgh in the second round. The Bulldogs completed the year with a 20-14 overall record.
Asheville began the season with a 70-69 overtime upset victory at Auburn, spoiling the Tigers first game in their new arena. The Bulldogs also pulled out a 61-58 victory at Coastal Carolina late in the season when Matt Dickey stole an inbounds pass and hit a last-second three-pointer to give Asheville the victory. The steal and shot brought national attention to the Bulldog program and was named ESPN's Play of the Day and Month.
Dickey was named first team All-Conference by the Big South and was named Tournament MVP. He also made the league's All-Academic team. Junior guard J.P. Primm was named second team All-Conference and also made the All-Tournament team. Senior forward John Williams set a Big South Championship game record with six blocked shots and earned a spot on the All-Tournament team.
"I'm grateful to the Mountain Amateur Athletic Club for recognizing our basketball team this year," stated Biedenbach. "We had a great season and this is a tremendous honor for our team to be recognized."