Flames NewsFlames Home > Men's Basketball Home > News
Kentucky, Virginia Tech, George Mason and Fresno State's World Vision Classic Headline 2007-08 Liberty Men's Basketball Schedule
Kentucky, Virginia Tech, George Mason and the World Vision Classic hosted by Fresno State highlight the 2007-08 Liberty men's basketball schedule, as announced by head coach Ritchie McKay.
McKay and his staff will begin a new era in Liberty basketball against a familiar opponent when the Flames open up the season against San Diego State of the Mountain West Conference on Nov. 9. McKay and assistant coach Brad Soucie spent six seasons coaching together in the Mountain West Conference, including stops at Colorado State and New Mexico. Assistant coach Dale Layer spent eight seasons in the Mountain West Conference, all with Colorado State, including the past seven as the Rams' head coach.
The Aztecs, the Flames' first opponent, are coached by former Michigan "Fab Five" and national championship coach Steve Fisher and the game is part of Fresno State's World Vision Classic tournament to be played at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. Liberty will then face host Fresno State of the Western Athletic Conference on Nov. 10 and Portland of the West Coast Conference on Nov. 11, in its final two games of the tournament.
The Flames return to Lynchburg to face Coker in their home opener on Nov. 13 before hitting the road again, taking on East Carolina on Nov. 17. Then for the third-straight year, Liberty will square off with an opponent from the SEC as the Flames return to Rupp Arena to face Kentucky on Nov. 21. Liberty faced Kentucky and Mississippi State in 2006 and two-time defending National Champion Florida in 2007.
Liberty returns home for three-straight home games, starting with Longwood on Nov. 27. Niagara comes to town on Dec. 1, returning the game from last season's O'Reilly ESPNU BracketBuster contest. Niagara is one-of-four opponents Liberty will face that reached the NCAA Tournament in 2007. Presbyterian, who recently joined the Big South Conference but won't be an official full-time member until 2011-12, comes to the Vines Center on Dec. 4.
McKay will then take his squad to Campbell on Dec. 15 and Virginia Tech on Dec. 19 before returning home on Dec. 28 to face Campbell and close the season series with the Camels. Liberty is currently riding two-game winning streaks against both Campbell and Virginia Tech.
Liberty travels to George Mason, who will be two seasons removed from their 2006 Final Four team, on Dec. 30 before returning on Jan. 5 to face Nyack. The Flames will then host Kentucky Christian on Jan. 8 before beginning Big South play on Jan. 12 at UNC Asheville, followed by a Jan. 15 game at Winthrop, which became the first team in Big South history to reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament with its upset of Notre Dame in 2007.
The Flames open up the home portion of their conference schedule with three-straight games, beginning with Charleston Southern on Jan. 19. Coastal Carolina comes to the Vines Center on Jan. 21, followed by High Point on Jan. 26.
Liberty takes to the road again when it travels to face the highest-scoring squad in the nation last season in the Keydets of VMI on Jan. 28. The Flames then go to Radford on Feb. 2 and High Point on Feb. 6. UNC Asheville comes to Lynchburg on Feb. 9 as does Winthrop on Feb. 12.
The final road swing of the regular season begins on Feb. 16 at Coastal Carolina, followed by a Feb. 18 match-up at Charleston Southern and a meeting with local rival Longwood on Feb. 22. Liberty closes the regular season at home against VMI on Feb. 26 and rival Radford on March 1.
The Big South Men's Basketball Championship begins with the quarterfinals on March 4 at the home of the higher seed. The semifinals, which will be broadcast on ESPNU, will be played at the site of the regular season champion. ESPN will broadcast the championship game on March 8 at the home of the highest remaining seed. The NCAA Tournament starts March 20-23 with the first two rounds being played at various locations across the country.
"I am really pleased to be able to attract the schedule we did," said McKay. "Playing the likes of Kentucky and Virginia Tech, which each made the NCAA Tournament last season, will be good for our guys and our program."
"When you add San Diego State, Fresno State, Portland and Niagara, we feel like our schedule is very competitive," stated McKay. "I think the schedule will better prepare ourselves for Big South Conference play."
Six teams on the Flames schedule reached the postseason in 2007. Kentucky, Niagara, Virginia Tech and Winthrop all made the NCAA Tournament, while Fresno State and San Diego State participated in the NIT.
The Flames Television Network (FTN) will broadcast all home contests, including all Big South Conference games, this year LIVE via the Liberty Channel, the SkyAngel Satellite Network and on www.LibertyFlames.com while select games will be available exclusively on the Big South EDGE.