Longwood basketball will tip off ESPN’s Wildcard series

Published 4:49 am Wednesday, December 28, 2022

FARMVILLE – Longwood basketball tips off the ESPNU Big South Wildcard series, the Big South Conference announced on Tuesday. The series features six Thursday primetime broadcasts through the months of January and February.

The Lancers are on the road at UNC Asheville for the game, which will be moved from Wednesday, Jan. 11 to Thursday, Jan. 12. The game will tip off at 7 p.m.

The matchup features two of the top projected teams in the Big South. Longwood was picked to defend its Big South title and garnered 16 of a possible 20 first place votes. UNC Asheville was selected to finish third with a pair of first-place votes.

The two teams head into conference play with matching 8-5 records. The two teams are the only Big South squads with at least two true road wins.

Longwood and UNC Asheville each had a pair of Big South Preseason All-Conference selections. Drew Pember for UNC Asheville was named the Big South Preseason Player of the Year, and Isaiah Wilkins was second in the voting for Longwood.

For Longwood, the primetime appearance is another building block for a program that has continued to grow under head coach Griff Aldrich. Now in his fifth season, the program has set a variety of records for overall, conference and home wins as well as the program’s first trip to NCAA March Madness at the Division I level. In addition, the fully donor-funded Basketball Performance Center opened at the end of September, and the Joan Perry Brock Center is set to open this summer as one of the premier mid-major college basketball venues.

Last season, the Lancers made a pair of appearances on ESPNU during the regular season last year on the way to the Big South title.

This season’s group enters conference play on a three-game winning streak. Longwood opens up Big South play on Thursday, Dec. 29 at 3 p.m. at home against High Point.