CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Big South Conference released its 2017-18 men's basketball composite league schedule on Thursday. CSU will tip off its conference slate at the Buc Dome against Longwood on Saturday, Dec. 30. The 18-game conference schedule will build toward the 2018 Big South Men's Basketball Championship, which will employ a home-site/earned seed format for the second consecutive year.
Each Big South member will play a balanced schedule, facing all nine conference opponents home and away. Three of CSU's first five league games come at home, while the reverse is true to end the campaign.
CSU will have four different opportunities to play on ESPNU – Jan. 18, Feb. 1, Feb. 15 and Feb. 22 – as the Big South is once again featured in ESPNU Wildcard games. The matchups will be selected by the network several weeks in advance.
The Bucs' conference opener against Longwood will be their only Saturday home game in league play, but Barclay Radebaugh's squad will play a Friday night game and two Sunday contests at the Buc Dome. Highlights of the home conference docket include a visit from defending regular season and tournament champion Winthrop on Jan. 12 and a Senior Day clash with Campbell on Feb. 22.
On the road, CSU will have three separate two-game road swings, including two in the month of January. The Bucs will close the regular season at Winthrop on Feb. 24.
The 2018 Big South Men's Basketball Championship will begin with first round games featuring the four lowest seeds on Tuesday, Feb. 27. The No. 7 and No. 8 seeds will host those games. Quarterfinal and semifinal games will be played on the home floor of the No. 1 seed on Thursday-Friday, March 1-2, on ESPN3. The highest remaining seed will host the championship game on Sunday, March 4, with a trip to the NCAA Tournament at stake.
The 2016-17 conference season (90 games) featured 47.8 percent decided by single digits -- 65.1 percent of which were margins of five points or less. In addition, the Big South earned a No. 13 seed in the NCAA Tournament, four teams appeared in postseason events last year, the conference posted two wins over Power 5 members, and the Big South advanced to the quarterfinals of the Collegeinsider.com Tournament for the third time in four years.
Confirmed game times and the conference's TV package will be available at a later date.