ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville Bulldogs look to win back-to-back Big South Conference championships for the first time in school history when the top-seeded Bulldogs host the seventh-seeded VMI Keydets at Kimmel Arena Saturday at Noon. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN2 and can be heard locally on WWNC Radio (570-AM) with the pre-game show starting at 11:30 a.m.
There are still tickets available and can be purchased on-line at www.uncabulldogs.com or call 828-251-6904.
Asheville (23-9) advanced to the championship game for the eighth time in school history with a 91-64 victory over fourth-seeded Charleston Southern Thursday night. J.P. Primm scored 27 points in the win as Asheville shot .933 (28-of-30) from the free throw line in the win. The Bulldogs are looking to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in school history. VMI is looking for its first trip since
The Keydets (17-15) have been impressive in their play at Kimmel Arena so far. They routed second-seeded Coastal Carolina on Wednesday, 85-68 and roared past sixth-seeded Winthrop last night, 75-55. VMI had to play a first round game on Monday and slipped past Radford, 55-53 to make it to Asheville.
The Bulldogs won both meetings against the Keydets this season. Asheville defeated VMI 94-85 at Kimmel on Jan. 5 and then slipped past the Keydets, 89-86 at Cameron Hall on Feb. 2.
This will be the first meeting between the teams in Big South Tournament play.
Asheville leads the all-time series between the teams, 15-7 and has won the last three meetings. However, VMI has won four of its last six games against the Bulldogs in Asheville. The Keydets downed the Dogs, 83-72 back on Dec. 31, 2010 at Justice Center.
The Bulldogs are trying to win a Big South tournament championship for the first time as a #1 seed. Asheville has lost in the championship game the last two times it has been the top seed in 1998 (63-61 to Radford at Liberty) and in 2008 (66-48 to Winthrop at Justice Center).
Asheville has been dominant in its two tournament games. The Bulldogs roared past eighth-seeded High Point in the quarterfinals (86-61) and then downed CSU last night, breaking an Asheville record each night for biggest margin of victory in the league tournament. Primm is averaging 21 points in two tourney games, while Chris Stephenson is averaging 18 points per game. The Bulldogs have outscored their first two opponents, 88.5 to 62.5.
Jeremy Atkinson set a UNC Asheville Tournament record by going 11-for-11 from the free throw line on Thursday vs. Charleston Southern. He breaks the previous mark of 8-for-8 held by current Bulldog assistant coach Brett Carey against Radford in the 2000 tourney.
The Bulldogs have won 24 of their last 26 games against BSC opponents. Asheville has won its last four tourney games dating back to last season by an average margin of 20.5 points per game.
Asheville is 3-4 in Big South Tournament championship games. The Bulldogs have won titles in 1989, 2003 and 2011. Asheville has fallen in the title game in 1990, 1998, 2000 and 2008.
The Bulldogs have a four-game winning streak and have allowed their opponents to score just an average of 60.5 points in those games.,
Asheville went 28-of-30 from the charity stripe against CSU Thursday for .933 percent. The Bulldogs have been above 90 percent in four different games this season.