Big South Set for Championship Week

Chris BrooksCorrespondent IMarch 3, 2009

The Big South conference tournament tips off tonight, with four quarterfinal matchups. There will be a lot of scoring in this tournament and there are a few teams who could win this automatic bid to the Big Dance.

Presbyterian and Charleston Southern will not participate in the tournament, so we are left with eight teams in the Big South. The highest seed hosts the quarterfinal round.

The No. 1 Radford Highlanders (18-11, 15-3 Big South) hosts the No. 8 High Point Panthers (9-20, 4-14 Big South) at 7 p.m. at the Dedmon Center. Radford swept the season series and won by double digits on the road.

The No. 4 UNC-Asheville Bulldogs (14-15, 10-8 Big South) hosts the No. 5 Winthrop Eagles (11-18, 9-9 Big South) at 7 p.m. at the Justice Center. Winthrop won both meetings this season, winning by 20 at home and by seven in Asheville. Let's see if the third time is the charm.

The No. 2 Virginia Military Keydets (22-7, 13-5 Big South) host the No. 7 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (11-19, 5-13 Big South) at 7 p.m. at Cameron Hall in Lexington, Va. Both games reached the triple digits with VMI winning 103-102 at home, but Coastal Carolina won 100-97 a couple weeks ago at Kimbel Arena.

Finally the No. 3 Liberty Flames (21-10, 12-6 Big South) host the No. 6 Gardner Webb Runnin' Bulldogs (13-16, 9-9 Big South) at 7 p.m. at the Vines Center in Lynchburg, Va. The squads split the series, with both winning in their respective arenas. Both games were a single-digit deficit for the road team.

The semi-finals will be hosted by top-seed Radford in western Virginia on Mar. 5. Both games will be televised on ESPNU.

The highest seed in the championship game will host the Big South title game on Mar. 7. Game time is 4 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2.