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Liberty Secures No. 4 Seed
UNC Asheville defeated Winthrop Saturday afternoon, 63-50, to earn the No. 1 seed in next week's Advance Auto Parts Big South Conference Men's Basketball Championship, it was determined this evening following the conclusion of the Conference's regular-season schedule. The Bulldogs and Eagles finished as co-champions of the regular-season with identical 10-4 Conference records, but Asheville swept the season series from Winthrop to earn its first No. 1 seed in the Tournament since 1997-98. Winthrop receives the No. 2 seed.
Asheville (21-8) captures its fourth-ever regular-season title and first since 2001-02, when it also shared the crown with Winthrop. The Eagles (19-11) have now won or shared the last four regular-season championships. UNC Asheville will host No. 8 Charleston Southern (10-19, 4-10 Big South) Tuesday evening in the Justice Center at 7 p.m. Winthrop will host No. 7 seed Radford (10-19, 5-9 Big South) at the Winthrop Coliseum also at 7 p.m.
High Point (16-13, 8-6 Big South) won an important road game at VMI Saturday afternoon to finish the year in sole possession of third-place and capture the No. 3 seed in the Tournament. VMI tied for fifth-place in the standings with Coastal Carolina (13-14, 6-8), and receives the No. 5 seed with its season sweep of the Chanticleers. Coastal will travel to High Point Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
Following the four quarterfinal games on Tuesday, the 2008 Advance Auto Parts Men's Basketball Championship will continue with the Semifinals on Thursday, March 6 at the Justice Center on the campus of UNC Asheville in Asheville, N.C. Both games will air live on ESPNU, and the Championship game will be contested on the home site of the highest remaining seed on Saturday, March 8 live on ESPN2 at 11:30am and Sirius Satellite Radio. The Big South's Tournament champion receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. The Conference Championship schedule is as follows:
Quarterfinals - Tuesday, March 4 (at top four seeds)
Game 1: No. 2 Winthrop hosts No. 7 Radford, 7 p.m. ET (at Rock Hill, S.C.)
Game 2: No. 3 High Point hosts No. 6 Coastal Carolina, 7 p.m. ET (at High Point, N.C.)
Game 3: No. 1 UNC Asheville hosts No. 8 Charleston Southern, 7 p.m. ET (at Asheville, N.C.)
Game 4: No. 4 Liberty hosts No. 5 VMI, 7 p.m. ET (at Lynchburg, Va.)
Semifinals - Thursday, March 6 (at Justice Center, Asheville, N.C.)
Game 5: Semifinals – No. 2/No. 7 winner vs. No. 3/No. 6 winner, 6 p.m. ET; TV: ESPNU
Game 6: Semifinals – No. 1/No. 8 winner vs. No. 4/No. 5 winner, 8 p.m. ET; TV: ESPNU
Championship - Saturday, March 8 (at highest remaining seed)
Game 7: Championship - Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 11:30am ET; TV: ESPN2