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      Big South brings basketball tourney to CCU

      Last week, WPDE Sports and brought you the story of Coastal Carolina and the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce winning the right to host the Big South Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament for the next three years beginning in 2013. You can read that story HERE

      Here's the press release from the Big South Conference:


      MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. ( â?? Big South Conference Commissioner Kyle B. Kallander announced today that will be the new title sponsor of the Big South menâ??s and womenâ??s basketball tournament championships for the next three years, which will be held at Coastal Carolina Universityâ??s new 3,200-seat on-campus Student Recreation and Convocation Center.

      The Big South Basketball Championships will be a combined tournament for the seventh time overall in League history and the first same site event since 2002 when the Conference staged its basketball postseason in Roanoke, Va. Coastal Carolina is hosting the full tournament for the first time, as CCU previously held the menâ??s semifinals and finals in 2010 and 2011.

      In addition to the title sponsorship, the Conference also announced that the combined tournament will now feature all Big South menâ??s and womenâ??s basketball teams -- 23 in total. The 12 menâ??s teams and 11 womenâ??s programs will play 21 games over a six-day stretch from Tuesday-Sunday, March 5-10, 2013. Specific television arrangements will be announced in the future.

      â??The Big South Conference is excited to partner with on our most prestigious event,â?? said Kallander. â??They bring a high level of energy and enthusiasm, which will be contagious to all of our institutions and fans. Bringing all 23 teams to this great destination in the same week will be a tremendous celebration of Big South basketball. We are grateful for the support from, Coastal Carolina University, and the greater Grand Strand region.â??

      â??We are thrilled to welcome the Big South menâ??s and womenâ??s basketball tournaments to the Grand Strand,â?? added Brad Dean, President & CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. â??Our university, residents and local business community looks forward to hosting these outstanding student-athletes, their fans and coaches for a very memorable experience in one of Americaâ??s top resort destinations. The Myrtle Beach area is one of Americaâ??s premier beach destinations and is quickly emerging as a sports tourism destination, providing a perfect backdrop for March Madness in the Big South.â??

      â??First, I would like to thank for making this tournament a reality on Coastal Carolinaâ??s campus,â?? stated Coastal Carolina Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek. â??The Student Recreation and Convocation Center was not only built to enhance our basketball and volleyball programs, but to also host events like the Big South basketball championships that will showcase the region as well. I am excited that the new format of including each of the 23 League teams into the Big South Basketball Championships will give the student-athletes a better overall experience.â??

      Ticket prices, packages and sale dates for the 2013 Big South Basketball Championships will be announced once it is finalized. and Coastal Carolina are also planning a Fan Fest, â??Battle of the Bandsâ?? competition and free alumni golf outings as part of the tournament festivities. The tentative 2013 tournament schedule is on the following page and is subject to change.

      2013 Big South Basketball Championships Schedule (subject to change)

      Tuesday, March 5 â?? Menâ??s first round games (4)

      Wednesday, March 6 â?? Womenâ??s first round games (3)

      Thursday, March 7 â?? Menâ??s quarterfinal games (4)

      Friday, March 8 â?? Womenâ??s quarterfinal games (4)

      Saturday, March 9 â?? Menâ??s semifinals (2) and Womenâ??s semifinals (2)

      Sunday, March 10 â?? Menâ??s finals and Womenâ??s finals

      The Big South Conference is returning to a same site, combined tournament format for the first time since 2002. For six-straight years from 1997-2002, the Big South held its menâ??s and womenâ??s basketball championships at one location -- Lynchburg, Va. (1997-98), Asheville, N.C. (1999-00) and Roanoke, Va. (2001-02).