ASHEVILLE, N.C. – UNC Asheville men's basketball head coach Nick McDevitt has unveiled a challenging non-conference schedule that will prepare the Bulldogs for the rigors of the Big South Conference.
The Bulldogs will face off against seven teams in the non-conference portion of its schedule that played in the postseason last year.
"I'm really happy with how the 2017-18 non-conference schedule came together," McDevitt said. "We're obviously excited about being invited to participate in a prestigious early-season tournament like the NIT, but we're also looking forward to some regional games as well. Our schedule will certainly challenge us as we prepare for Big South play, and at the same time, it will give our fans a chance to see us play, both at home and on the road."
As released earlier this summer, UNC Asheville men's basketball will be one of the non-bracketed teams in the 2017 NIT Season Tip-Off along with Austin Peay, Fairleigh Dickinson, Monmouth and Oakland City.
The Bulldogs as part of the NIT Season Tip-Off will travel to Rhode Island (Nov. 10), Vanderbilt (Nov. 17) and Austin Peay (Nov. 19). The Bulldogs will play host to Monmouth on Nov. 22.
The regular season opener against Rhode Island on Friday, Nov. 10, will mark the second time that the Bulldogs have faced off against the Rams. The Bulldogs also took on the Rams as part of the NIT Season Tip Off in McDevitt's first season in charge of the program in the 2013-14 season.
In the middle of the games as part of the 2017 NIT Season Tip-Off, UNC Asheville will open its regular season home schedule by welcoming Lees-McRae to Kimmel Arena on Monday, Nov. 13.
Just a few days after the home opener, UNC Asheville will head to the Middle Tennessee area for its final two road games of the NIT Season Tip Off. The Bulldogs will first take on Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. for the fourth time – and the first since 1996 – on Friday, Nov. 17, before two days later facing off against Austin Peay for the first time since 1979 on their home floor in Clarksville, Tenn. on Sunday, Nov. 19.
The Bulldogs will return home next to welcome former North Carolina standout and current Monmouth head coach King Rice to Kimmel Arena for their lone home game as part of the 2017 NIT Season Tip Off on Wednesday, Nov. 22.
The matchup against the Hawks is the first of three straight home games for the Bulldogs with UNC Asheville first welcoming Wofford to Kimmel Arena for a post-Thanksgiving treat at Kimmel Arena on Sunday, Nov. 26. The game will mark the 25th meeting between the two teams with UNC Asheville owning a 16-8 all-time series advantage over the Terriers.
UNC Asheville will then play host to USC Upstate a few days later on Wednesday, Nov. 29, at Kimmel Arena. The matchup will be the 16th all-time between the two programs in a series that dates back to the 1970's when USC Upstate was then known as USC Spartanburg. The Bulldogs picked up a 73-57 win over USC Upstate last season in Spartanburg, S.C. on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016.
The Bulldogs will open the month of December by traveling to the Upstate of South Carolina to battle Clemson of the ACC in the seventh all-time meeting between the programs.
Two days later, UNC Asheville will head back to the Upstate to take on Furman on Tuesday, Dec. 5. The matchup will be the 16th all-time between the two programs with Asheville last year taking a thrilling 64-58 victory behind 22 points from freshman All-American MaCio Teague.
The Bulldogs will play host to Milligan at Kimmel Arena on Sunday, Dec. 10, just one week before once again renewing the Mountain Rivalry with Western Carolina.
This year's Mountain Rivalry game will be contested at the US Cellular Center on Sunday, Dec. 17. The 2017 meeting will be the 51st all-time between the two rivals with the Bulldogs picking up a thrilling 59-57 win in last year's 50th meeting at Kimmel Arena on Dec. 17, 2016. More information about this special edition of the rivalry matchup will be available in the near future.
Two days later, UNC Asheville will hit the road to take on UNCG in Greensboro, N.C. on Tuesday, Dec. 19.
The Bulldogs will close out the non-conference portion of their 2017-18 schedule on Friday, Dec. 22, by traveling to Moraga, Calif. to face off against perennial top-25 team and West Coast Conference power Saint Mary's.
The entire 2017-18 UNC Asheville men's basketball schedule will be released to the public in the near future. Times and more will be updated as they become available throughout the course of the days leading up the season.
The Bulldogs will commence the 2017-18 season having collected back-to-back 20-win seasons and having made two straight postseason appearances with the Bulldogs playing in the 2016 NCAA Tournament and the 2017 CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
The 2016-17 Bulldogs earned the second-most wins in program history in a season with 23. Asheville reached 20 wins faster than any other team in program history in 27 games.
UNC Asheville is currently accepting deposits for season tickets, and fans can reserve their season ticket for only $50 per seat. The season ticket includes both men's and women's home regular-season basketball games.
To purchase your tickets today, please visit HERE. The 2017-18 UNC Asheville men's basketball non-conference schedule can be viewed HERE.