WINTHROP: WInthrop Eagles ESPNU Big South Wildcard Selection

ESPNU TABS WINTHROP AT UNC ASHEVILLE AS ITS FEB. 22 BIG SOUTH WILDCARD SELECTION

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) -- ESPNU has selected the Winthrop at UNC Asheville men’s basketball contest scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 22 as its final Big South Wildcard broadcast of the season, it was announced today by the Big South Conference office.  Game time will be 7:00pm ET inside Kimmel Arena in Asheville, N.C.  Matt Schick (play-by-play) and Paul Biancardi (analyst) will handle the call from courtside.

It will be the fourth consecutive meeting between the two squads on ESPNU, dating back to last season.  On Jan. 18, Winthrop won the first match-up with the Bulldogs, 85-58, as part of its six-game win streak from Jan. 12-Feb. 3.  Since that setback to the Eagles, the Bulldogs have reeled off five-straight wins and currently sit in sole possession of first-place in the Big South standings at 9-3.  Winthrop is tied for second one game back at 8-4. 

Anders Broman led the Eagles with 19 points against Asheville in the Jan. 18 contest, with Xavier Cooks contributing 15 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and four blocks in the victory.  Ahmad Thomas led the Bulldogs with a double-double of 20 points and 11 boards.  Winthrop will seek its first season sweep of UNC Asheville since 2014-15.

Cooks became the first-ever Big South player with 1,500 career points, 800 career rebounds, 200 career assists, 175 career blocks and 100 career steals when he eclipsed the steals milestone Feb. 3 vs. Radford.  He enters this week’s action as the league’s top rebounder with 8.9 caroms per game and fourth overall in scoring with 17.3 points.  Thomas enters this week eight points away from joining Cooks in the conference’s 1,500-point / 500-rebound club.  He and Kevin Vannatta are the only four-year teammates in Big South annals to each have 1,000 career points, 500 career rebounds and 200 career assists.
The Winthrop at UNC Asheville game is the fourth and final Big South ESPNU Wildcard broadcast this season.  The 2017-18 campaign marked the fifth consecutive year that four regular-season Big South contests appeared on ESPNU.  The other broadcasts this season were UNC Asheville at Winthrop on Jan. 18, Gardner-Webb at Radford on Feb. 1, and the upcoming Campbell at Radford game on Feb. 15.