Today’s Throwback Thursday Photo goes back 25 years to UNC Asheville’s first ever Big South Conference championship in men’s basketball. This is a team photo from the 1988-89 season.
The Bulldogs went 16-14 under first-year coach Don Doucette to win the league title as a fourth seed. Asheville slipped past Radford, 62-58 in the quarterfinals and then upset top-seed Coastal Carolina, 88-76 in the semifinals. The Chanticleers had routed the Dogs twice during the regular-season but were no match for Asheville in the semifinals.
Asheville would face second-seeded Campbell for the Big South title in a game that was nationally televised. The Bulldogs would lead from start-to-finish and down the Camels 93-78. Milton Moore was named tournament MVP. Junior guard Maurice Caldwell just missed a triple-double with 21 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. Brent Keck and Harvey Shrorpshire also made the All-Tournament team.
There was no automatic bid that year with the Big South being so new but Asheville was one of three programs that year that ended the season with a win (the NCAA and NIT champions the others).