Blog Entry

Welcome to the Dance, UNC-Asheville Bulldogs

Posted on: March 5, 2011 6:14 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2011 6:22 pm

Heading into the Big South tournament, UNC-Asheville was playing arguably the best basketball in the league. The Bulldogs proved that over the course of three games, culminating in a 60-47 victory over top-seeded Coastal Carolina on the Chanticleers’ homecourt. Forward John Williams played one of his best games of the season, posting 10 points, nine rebounds and six blocks. Head coach Eddie Biedenbach, the conference’s all-time winningest head coach, will be in the NCAA Tournament for the second time since coming to Asheville 15 years ago.

UNC-Asheville, one of the many branches in the University of North Carolina system, has an undergraduate enrollment of fewer than 3,500. The Bulldogs have won four Big South conference titles, reaching the NCAA Tournament once, in 2003, when they finished 15-17 but won the conference tournament. They went to the NIT in 2008, after a 23-win season. Asheville has had 23 winning seasons since starting its program in 1964.

Player to know: Matt Dickey. Although Dickey was inconsistent towards the end of the season, he is capable of carrying the Bulldogs. He scored 29 points in the tournament opener against Charleston Southern, then followed it with 18 points, six rebounds and six assists in the semifinals. On the season, Dickey averaged 15.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists.

The Vitals:

  • Record: 19-13, 11-7 Big South
  • Team colors: Royal blue and white
  • We’re thinking: 16-seed
  • KenPom ranking: 150
  • RPI: 176
  • Best win: Coastal Carolina, twice (28-5)
  • Worst loss: USC-Upstate (5-25)
  • Notable stat: The Bulldogs rank ninth in the country in steals per game, racking up 9.3 per game.
  • Most recent tournament history: 2003. Defeated Texas Southern in the opening-round game, lost to Texas in the first round.

Photo: US Presswire

Posted by Jeff Borzello

More College Basketball coverage
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Big South, BSOU

Since: Nov 3, 2007
Posted on: March 6, 2011 11:53 am

Welcome to the Dance, UNC-Asheville Bulldogs

 RPI numbers somewhere between 35 and 100 will be left out in the cold.

UH, maux, this tournament has never been about playing the top 24, 32, 48, 64 Etc teams in the country.  The conference champs have always been a part of this tourney.  Teams with RPIs of 35 to 100, AKA someones opinion, are no more of a threat to win this tourney than a team with a 176 RPI.  Marquette and Cinncinnati are no threat to win this tourney at all so why should they be in instead of a conference champ like UNC-A anyway?  Who cares about Marquette and Cincy?  The Big East is riddled with decent teams but none are a threat to win this thing so if we use your logic we could leave all of them out.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying I don't want them in the tourney because they're the source of lots of entertainment for me.  I really enjoy watching the Big East get their butts kicked every year after their fans, such as yourself, have spouted off all year.  The 2009 tourney was especially fun to watch because the BE, after being given THREE #1 seeds, only got one win over a team they weren't seeded to beat.  Michigan State and UNC mauling Louisville, UConn and Villanova was fabulously fun to watch!  

Since: Mar 5, 2011
Posted on: March 5, 2011 10:52 pm

Welcome to the Dance, UNC-Asheville Bulldogs

Let me guess, you only care about the biggest schools with the most flashy and expensive programs, right? For a small public liberal arts university with less than 3,500 students in WNC, we do rather well. We worked hard and we deserve a chance just like any other team.

Since: Dec 14, 2010
Posted on: March 5, 2011 7:05 pm

Welcome to the Dance, UNC-Asheville Bulldogs

coach eddie biedenbaugh has done a wonderful job of recruiting these players. they are good people and great teamates. most stay 4 years, graduate, and represent the school so very well. besides that, they're darn good basketball players.

Since: Mar 5, 2011
Posted on: March 5, 2011 7:04 pm

Welcome to the Dance, UNC-Asheville Bulldogs

Excellent point!  There is no way that a conference champion should have to play in a one of the play in games.  I actually feel that any team that is a conference champion should also not be seeded any higher than a 13 seed.  These teams from the lower profile conferences should be given a better chance at winning a game in the Dance.  Putting these conference champs against the #1 and #2 seeds shows a total lack of respect to all the lesser profile leagues. There is nothing more exciting during this tournament than seeing the lesser known teams prevail against the goliaths .... give them a fair shake!

Since: Apr 6, 2007
Posted on: March 5, 2011 7:02 pm

Welcome to the Dance, UNC-Asheville Bulldogs

The selection committee doesn't like the "almost got the automatic bid" bubble teams very much.  Their argument will be that they had their chance to get in and blew it.  Look what happened to Miss St last year.  They were a bubble team, but the loss in the SEC championship to UK (by .1 seconds mind you) didn't really make the selection committee feel bad for them.

Since: Nov 29, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2011 7:01 pm

Welcome to the Dance, UNC-Asheville Bulldogs

Seriously? A team with an RPI of #176 is going to the NCAA as a #16 seed, while scores of teams with RPI numbers somewhere between 35 and 100 will be left out in the cold. Basketball is in desperate need of a BCS system. Teams like Marquette and Cincinnati are supposedly "on the bubble", while dregs like this get in. There is something seriously flawed in a tournament process whereby the NIT champion is far better than half of the NCAA field. Give the fans a tournament with the BEST teams...period. Separate all the D-1 into divisions, and let each play teams on their own levels. The NCAA was a far greater tourney when it only took the Top 32 teams in the nation. Far superior. Fans were treated to much better games, and the absolute worst match was #1 vs. #32. You like upsets? With only the Top 32, ANY team could win ANY game. Of course, back then it was much more difficult for the top four seeds to advance. With the addition of thirty four teams that are far below mediocre, the skids have become greased for the top seeds, and they can now sleepwalk into the Elite Eight. Do you know how many wins have been produced by the #15 and #16 seeds since expansion/ NONE. So now we get to see one of the top four seeds play UNC-Ashevill in prime time? Whoop de doo. Don't want to miss that one.

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2011 6:58 pm

Welcome to the Dance, UNC-Asheville Bulldogs

No, instead they settle for an automatic bid to the NIT.

Since: Jan 10, 2010
Posted on: March 5, 2011 6:51 pm

Welcome to the Dance, UNC-Asheville Bulldogs

Could Coastal Carolina still get in? They are 28-5. Some mid-major teams with records like that have gotten in the past few years. I say they miss out since they have no good wins outside of the Big South, but you could make an argument for them.

Since: Dec 16, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2011 6:49 pm

Welcome to the Dance, UNC-Asheville Bulldogs

It would be a shame if they dont get a chance to actually go to the NCAA Tournament and instead be stuck playing a "play-in" game in Dayon Ohio vs yet another conference champion who got robbed.

They need to do away with the play-in games in Dayton. You win your conference tournament and you should be in. Let the bubble teams play in the play-in games. It's not fair to the conference champions at all. It's sad really.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or