The Radford University men’s basketball team will open its 2018-19 Big South Conference slate at home against Longwood and closes it with back-to-back road tests at High Point and Campbell with several chances to appear on ESPN Networks along the way, the league office announced Wednesday morning.
The schedule, which has been changed to a 16-game format, will look slightly different this season with the departure of in-state rival Liberty and the inclusion of new Big South members Hampton and USC Upstate.
Radford hosts opponents for three of its first four contests with Longwood (Jan. 5), Presbyterian College (Jan. 12) and Gardner-Webb (Jan. 17) coming to the New River Valley. The Thursday night showdown against the Runnin’ Bulldogs will be live on ESPNU or ESPNews.
The month of January also features home games against Charleston Southern (Jan. 24) and Campbell (Jan. 30). Three away games are scheduled in January as well with the Highlanders traveling to conference newcomer USC Upstate on Jan. 10 before heading to UNC Asheville on Jan. 19 and Longwood on Jan. 21.
February ushers in an even more challenging lineup that begins with contests at Winthrop (Feb. 2) and Hampton (Feb. 7). The Highlanders welcome High Point on Feb. 9 and then host Winthrop (Feb. 21) and Hampton (Feb. 23) on their return trips to the Dedmon Center. A trip south to Charleston Southern on Feb. 16 bridges the home games and the regular season concludes with away games at High Point (Feb. 27) and Campbell (March 2).
The Big South Championship begins with the First Round on March 5, followed by the quarterfinals and semifinals on March 7-8 before the finals on March 10. The quarters and semis will be hosted by the top overall seed, but as we saw last year, the finals will be hosted by the highest remaining seed.
The conference has once again partnered with ESPN to broadcast games to a national audience throughout the year. GWU at Radford (Jan. 17) and Winthrop at Hampton (Feb. 28) have already been announced for ESPNU or ESPNews while four other dates have been laid out as ESPNU wildcard games.
Radford at USC Upstate (Jan. 10), Charleston Southern at Radford (Jan. 24), Radford at Hampton (Feb. 7) and Winthrop at Radford (Feb. 21) are all candidates for the ESPNU wildcard match-ups. All wildcard games will be determined 21 days in advance.
The Highlanders are expected to be a contender for the Big South title a year after placing second in the regular season and winning the conference tournament in dramatic fashion. With a program-record 23 wins and the first NCAA victory in program history, Radford is carrying plenty of momentum from 2017-18 into the 2018-19 school year.