The University of North Carolina Asheville, the Big South Conference and the Southern Conference have come to an agreement that will allow the Bulldog men's basketball team to play the BSC championship game in Kimmel Arena on the UNC Asheville campus at noon, Saturday, March 3, should they earn that opportunity. The Bulldogs would host the title game if they are the highest remaining seed.
UNC Asheville Chancellor Anne Ponder said of the agreement, "Thanks to an ongoing negotiation between the conferences and the university, as well as the Asheville Buncombe Regional Sports Commission, we were able to agree on a scheduling change that would free up Kimmel Arena for the possible championship game."
Ponder also said, "Throughout this process, we have attempted to both honor our existing agreement to host the Southern Conference Women’s Tournament in Kimmel Arena as well as to provide a home court advantage for our men’s team if they are successful in reaching the championship game. We are extremely pleased with this outcome, and we sincerely appreciate the efforts of both conferences to work with us."
Under the revised schedule, if the UNC Asheville men’s basketball team were to advance to the Big South Conference championship game, the Southern Conference has agreed to move the game currently scheduled for noon Saturday, March 3, in Kimmel Arena to the Justice Center, to free up the Kimmel Arena for the BSC championship game.
Southern Conference Commissioner John Iamarino, said, "We are pleased that a solution could be found that works for all parties. The Southern Conference is excited about its return to Asheville and the crucial role that UNC Asheville has played throughout the process to make that possible. The potential now exists for an even greater week of college basketball."
Big South Commissioner Kyle B. Kallander said, "Janet Cone has worked tirelessly for months to achieve a resolution that is satisfactory to all parties. We are very appreciative of her efforts, which have led to the gratifying outcome that the UNC Asheville student-athletes will be able to play on their home court if they host the championship game."
Ben VanCamp, executive director of the Asheville Buncombe Regional Sports Commission, said, "I would like to thank our partners at UNC Asheville, Big South and SoCon for collaborating on a solution to hopefully showcase two conference championships, bringing together talented athletes and enthusiastic fans from both conferences for a week of outstanding basketball. Hosting both championships will shine a national spotlight on Asheville and has the potential to have a tremendous impact on our local community."
Bruce Peterson, UNC Asheville Board of Trustees’ appointed chair of the athletic committee said, "I'm thrilled that our chancellor and athletic director have engaged so productively with the Big South, SoCon and the greater Asheville community. They have done an extraordinary job of bringing our community partners together for the benefit of all of us, including our students."
This past fall, the Big South Conference CEOs approved a new, combined basketball tournament format beginning with the 2012-13 season. The Big South Conference will play their championship game at a neutral site that would be identified well in advance, assuring that a conflict will not occur in future years.Read the full article
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