Lipscomb will face the defending champion North Carolina Tar Heels in Charlotte, N.C. Friday in the Bisons’ first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
The two-seed Tar Heels defeated Gonzaga 71-65 in the 2017 final and are coming off a loss in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship to the first-ranked University of Virginia. They have won six NCAA Championships in 49 appearances.
“We’re not going to be better than North Carolina overall,” coach Casey Alexander said. “We’ve just got to be better than North Carolina in one 40-minute game.” That game will be played at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, the home of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.
The Bisons cut down the nets in Fort Myers last Sunday, defeating Florida Gulf Coast University 108-96 to clinch its first ASUN championship. Lipscomb was the last team slated into the NCAA Tournament bracket.
Charlotte is about 400 miles from Nashville. Alexander said it was the “best-case scenario” in terms of traveling to the game.
“I didn’t want to go too far away, where a lot of people couldn’t get there,” he said in a press conference following the bracket release show. “This is kind of the best of both worlds. Anybody that wants to go can go, but it’s a trip for our players for the full NCAA experience.”
Bisons play-by-play announcer Jonathan Seamon emceed a watch party for the Selection Show in Allen Arena. Sophomore guards Kenny Cooper and Michael Buckland called going to the Big Dance a “dream come true.”
Junior center Rob Marberry thanked the fans, who clapped for nearly an hour for cheerleaders, players and coaches until the Selection Show began. Alexander pointed out the sacrifices that coaches’ and support staff members’ families make during the season.
Student ticket details are to be determined. Alumni tickets are available for $100 apiece from the University. Tickets start online at $240; that includes both the Lipscomb game and the Texas A&M vs. Providence game.
Photo by Erin Franklin
Package by Lindsey Nance