ASHEVILLE, N.C. – An opening game at Kentucky, an invitation to the Preseason NIT plus home games with UNC Wilmington and Ohio University highlights the 2013-14 UNC Asheville men’s basketball schedule. The schedule was announced today by first-year coach Nick McDevitt.
Asheville plays one exhibition contest and it will be at Kimmel Arena against Brevard on Nov. 4. The McDevitt era begins at Rupp Arena when the Bulldogs take on national power Kentucky in the first game of the season on Nov. 8.
The game with the Wildcats begins a stretch of eight straight games away from home. Asheville plays at mountain rival Western Carolina (Nov. 11) and travels to College of Charleston (Nov. 15).
McDevitt’s club participates in the Preseason NIT over the next two weeks of November. Asheville will be in a quad at Duke from Nov. 18-20. Also in the quad with the Bulldogs are Duke, East Carolina and Norfolk State. Match-ups will be announced at a later date. The Dogs participate in a second round of the NIT from November 25-26 at a site to be announced. Asheville competed in the Battle “4” Atlantis two years ago and the Puerto Rico Shootout last season.
“Our non-conference schedule is both challenging and exciting,” stated McDevitt. “We’re honored to be playing in a prestigious early-season tournament for the third straight year. This is a tournament that can only make us better and help prepare us not just for the rigors of the Big South Conference but the Big South Tournament, as well.”
Asheville finishes up its eight-game road swing with a game at Charlotte on Dec. 1. The Bulldogs play five of their next six games at home. The Dogs home opener is with Bluefield on Dec. 12, followed by a road game at USC Upstate (Dec. 15).
Asheville entertains Virginia Intermont (Dec. 20) right before Christmas. Following Christmas, the Bulldogs welcome UNC Wilmington and former head coach Eddie Biedenbach (Dec. 28) to the mountains. Biedenbach coached Asheville for 17 years before moving to UNC Wilmington last April to be an assistant coach under Buzz Peterson.
“It’s going to be a little strange to see Coach Biedenbach come out of a different tunnel and sit on the opponents’ bench,” commented McDevitt. “He’s meant a lot to me personally and meant a lot to the Asheville community. We look forward to welcoming him back on December 28.”
The Bulldogs finish 2013 with a game against Montreat (Dec. 31) before entertaining Mid-American Conference foe Ohio University (Jan. 4). The game with the Bobcats is a return game from the Bracketbuster series two years ago. Ohio went to the “Sweet 16” that year and played in the post-season NIT in 2013.
“The Mid-American Conference is a great basketball conference, and we’ve played several of those teams over the years in Akron, Buffalo and Ohio,” said McDevitt. “Ohio has a great program and is always battling for a championship in the MAC.”
Big South Conference play begins at Gardner-Webb (Jan. 8). Asheville’s first home league game is with Presbyterian College three days later (Jan. 11). The Bulldogs then travel to the South Carolina coast for games with Coastal Carolina (Jan. 15) and Charleston Southern (Jan. 18). Asheville returns home to host Winthrop (Jan.22) before playing at North Division champion High Point (Jan. 25). The Dogs finish out January with a home meeting against VMI (Jan. 28).
Asheville starts February with a game at Longwood (Feb. 1). The Dogs have a two-game homestand with league foes Campbell (Feb. 5) and Liberty (Feb. 8). Road games follow at Radford (Feb. 12) and Presbyterian College (Feb. 15).
The Bulldogs finish the season with three of their final four games at Kimmel Arena. Asheville is home for dates with South Division champion Charleston Southern (Feb. 19) and Coastal Carolina (Feb. 22), followed by a road date at Winthrop (Feb. 26). The final game of the regular-season occurs on March 1 when Asheville celebrates homecoming against Gardner-Webb.
“The Big South Conference should be very competitive this season,” added McDevitt. “The league is as balanced as I’ve ever seen it from to bottom.”
Bulldog fans can purchase season-tickets for the upcoming season on Thursday, August 1 by going to uncabulldogs.com or by calling 828-258-7900.