The Big South Conference Council of Chief Executive Officers has unanimously voted to award the 2016 Big South Men’s Basketball Championship to Campbell University and the 2016 Women’s Basketball Championship to UNC Asheville.
Campbell will host the men’s event for the first time. The tournament will be held Thursday-Sunday, March 3-6, at the 3,095-seat Gilbert Craig Gore Arena in the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center.
ESPN2 will televise the final live on Sunday, Mar. 6 at 2:30 p.m. The Big South Championship winner receives the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.
“We could not be more excited about this opportunity to host the 2016 Big South men’s basketball tournament,” said Campbell University President J. Bradley Creed. “Campbell basketball is a deeply rooted tradition in North Carolina, and our location in the Research Triangle Region is ideal for hosting fans of Big South member schools. We’re ready for some March Madness on the campus of Campbell University.”
Dedicated in Oct. 2008, the 109,000 square-foot John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center and Gilbert Craig Gore Arena ranks among the finest facilities in the Big South and in North Carolina.
The $34-million project includes 3,095 (all chair back) seats for basketball games at Gilbert Craig Gore Arena, in addition to a 1,200-square foot Presidential hospitality suite. Fans in attendance not only experience the excitement of college basketball, but are also entertained by state-of-the-art lighting, scoreboard, video and audio systems.
“This is a huge announcement for Campbell University and Camel basketball,” said Campbell Athletics Director Bob Roller. “I’m personally most happy for the Campbell alumni and longtime fans in Harnett County who have supported our program for decades. This will be a tremendous source of pride for Harnett County, and we will work tirelessly to make them all proud.”
Third-year head men’s basketball coach Kevin McGeehan is also excited about the league’s premier championship event coming to Buies Creek.
“We are absolutely ecstatic about hosting the 2016 Big South Tournament,” McGeehan said. “Credit must go to Bob Roller and President Creed for embracing the opportunity to showcase the amazing Gore Arena and our beautiful university. This fan base loves college basketball and together with Big South Commissioner Kyle Kallander, we will put on a first-class event for the Big South Conference.”
Founded in 1887 and located in the prestigious Research Triangle Region, Campbell is a bustling private institution of the liberal arts, sciences, and professions. One of the most academically-diverse institutions in North Carolina, Campbell offers over 100 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees programs in business, divinity, education, engineering, law, nursing, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and a half-dozen other health sciences. For over 128 years, Campbell has been preparing students for purposeful lives and meaningful service.
“The Big South Conference is excited to bring its version of March Madness to Campbell University and Buies Creek,” said Commissioner Kyle Kallander. “It is clear from the bid that Campbell will do an outstanding job hosting the 2016 Big South Men’s Basketball Championship, and will provide an unbelievable experience for our student-athletes. We are appreciative of the commitment expressed by Campbell’s leadership, President Brad Creed and Athletics Director Bob Roller, in supporting this event. We can’t wait for March!”
2016 Big South Conference Men’s Basketball Championship
March 3-6 (at Campbell)
Thursday, March 3 – First Round
No. 8 seed vs. No. 9 seed, TBA (BigSouthNetwork)
No. 7 seed vs. No. 10 seed, TBA (BSN)
No. 6 seed vs. No. 11 seed, TBA (BSN)
Friday, March 4 – Quarterfinals
No. 1 seed vs. Winner 8/9, 12:00pm (ESPN3)
No. 4 seed vs. No. 5 seed, 2:00pm (ESPN3)
No. 2 seed vs. Winner 7/10, 6:00pm (ESPN3)
No. 3 seed vs. Winner 6/11, 8:00pm (ESPN3)
Saturday, March 5 – Semifinals
Semifinal Game 1, TBA (ESPN3)
Semifinal Game 2, TBA (ESPN3)
Sunday, March 6 – Championship
Championship Game, 2:30pm (ESPN2)