Happy New Year everyone! Welcome to 2013 and what is set to be quite a year in Niner Nation. Halton Arena will be kicking off the New Year with a big slate of hoops action starting tomorrow as the Charlotte 49ers men’s and women’s basketball teams are set to play a combined three home games over the next five days. Let’s take a quick look at each.
Wednesday: MBB vs. UNC Asheville (6-7)
It’s easy to overlook the defending Big South champs a little when taking a look at their record compared to Charlotte’s 11-2 mark. But this squad is much better than the numbers would indicate. Their two losses to Tennessee and then #15 N.C. State, coupled with defeats to Providence and USC Upstate, were only by a combined 16 points. Despite a few inconsistencies, these Bulldogs, who came close to knocking out Syracuse last March in the tournament, can’t be taken for granted as the men wrap up non-league play.
Thursday: WBB vs. Coppin State (4-8)
The lowly MEAC has never been known for its basketball prowess, especially considering that two of the Eagles’ four wins so far have come against Cheyney and Lincoln (Pa.), both Division II squads (the other two came over 4-8 Longwood and 0-10 Robert Morris). Don’t expect the Niners to have too much trouble over a Coppin team that hasn’t had much success outside of conference play, where it went 13-3 last year.
Sunday: WBB vs. Colgate (5-7)
The Raiders are coming off back-to-back 20 loss seasons but have picked up five wins already–it took them 22 games to do that last year. But four of the teams they’ve beaten–winless Robert Morris along with LIU Brooklyn, Columbia and St. Francis (Pa.)–have a combined eight wins. It’s the women’s final non-conference game of the season before heading to Rhode Island next Saturday to start A-10 play.