ESPNU has selected the UNC Asheville at Radford men’s basketball contest as its fifth Big South wild card broadcast of the 2022-23 season, the Big South Conference office has announced. The game will move from its current Wednesday, Feb. 15, date to Thursday, Feb. 16 ,and will tip at 7 p.m. inside the Dedmon Center in Radford.
UNC Asheville defeated Radford, 62-58 on Dec. 29 in the Big South opener for both teams. The Feb. 16 match-up will mark the fourth meeting between the squads as part of the league’s wild card series on the network with the Highlanders holding a 3-0 advantage. The broadcast will be the third wild card appearance for both schools this season.
Asheville enters this week in first place in the Big South standings at 9-1 and has won eight consecutive games. The Bulldogs are 17-6 overall and rank first in the conference in overall field goal percentage (47.2), overall three-point percentage (38.8) and overall three-point defense (30.0 percent allowed). Drew Pember paces the Big South in scoring (20.2), rebounding (9.6) and blocked shots (2.5) while Tajion Jones is the conference leader in three-point percentage (46.2) and three-pointers made per game (2.9). UNC Asheville is hosting High Point this Thursday night on ESPNU.
Radford enters this week’s action tied for first place with Asheville in the Big South standings with an 8-2 league record. The Highlanders have also won seven straight games. RU has already exceeded its win totals from last season (seven Big South and 11 overall).
Radford is the conference leader in overall scoring defense (64.1 points allowed) and overall turnover margin (+2.35), while ranking second in overall three-point shooting (36.7 percent). Justin Archer is the Big South’s top offensive rebounder (3.2 per game) while DaQuan Smith leads a trio of double-figure scorers with 12.9 points per game.
This is the tenth year of the Big South’s ESPNU wild card series, which again features six Thursday broadcasts: Jan. 12 (at UNC Asheville 54, Longwood 46), Jan. 26 (at Radford 63, Longwood 59), Feb. 2 (High Point at UNC Asheville), Feb. 9 (Gardner-Webb at Radford), Feb. 16 (UNC Asheville at Radford) and Feb. 23. The broadcasts are selected 14 to 21 days in advance.
A total of 43 games have been played in the series that began in 2013-14, and while the home teams are 30-13, the 43 games have been decided by an average of 8.77 points, with 27 of those being decided by single-digits (4.67 average margin in those contests).