On Saturday, Jax State will play in the annual bracketbusters game. Last season Presbyterian came to JSU for the game. This year, JSU is a road team and drew UNC-Asheville (15-13) of the Big South Conference.
The game should be very exciting as it matches two very similar teams. The Bulldogs of UNC-Asheville have recently dropped to fourth in the Big South Conference while in the middle of a three game conference losing skid. The Gamecocks are sixth in the OVC but still fifth in their own division, playing in the much more difficult East.
Jacksonville State is enjoying one of their most successful seasons in years and will put their talents up against a team that just last season, as a 16 seed in the NCAA tournament, came one bad call away from beating Syracuse and pulling the first ever 16 over 1 seed upset.
The Bulldogs have four players that average over 30 minutes a game, with three scoring in double digits. Jeremy Atkinson leads Asheville with 17 points a game. D.J. Cunningham will be a factor in the game down low on offense, and as a defender. The Bulldogs shoot 45 percent from the field and 71 percent from the stripe, including Keith Hornsby, a 94 percent free throw shooter.
It will be Jax State’s next to last game this season. Prior to their current three-game skid, UNC-Asheville reeled off 7 wins in a row to take first in their conference. The Bulldogs will complete the bracketbusters series next season as they come to Pete Mathews Coliseum for a game.