Campbell lands Big South men’s basketball tournament

Gore Arena at Campbell University. (Bennett Scarborough, Scarborough Photography)

BUIES CREEK, N.C. (WNCN) – March Madness is coming to the Creek.

The Big South Conference has awarded the 2016 Big South Men’s Basketball Championship to Campbell University and the 2016 Women’s Basketball Championship to UNC-Asheville, the league announced Wednesday.

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, March 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 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.”

The 109,000 square-foot John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center and Gilbert Craig Gore Arena were dedicated in October 2008.

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.

“We are absolutely ecstatic about hosting the 2016 Big South Tournament,” Campbell coach Kevin 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.”

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)

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