The York Lions men’s basketball team announced yesterday that it will play three exhibition games against US National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I teams over the Labour Day weekend.
The Lions will play host to North Carolina State University on Aug. 30 at 7pm, University of North Carolina-Charlotte (UNC-Charlotte) on Aug. 31 at 7pm and Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) on Sept. 1 at 1pm. All games will take place at the Tait McKenzie Centre on York’s Keele campus.
This marks the fifth year in a row that York will entertain American college teams over the Labour Day weekend. The Lions are 3-5 against the NCAA opponents since 2004.
"We’re really excited to play these games. It’s going to be a real test for some of our young guys," said Lions head coach Bob Bain (right). "Our guys are looking forward to the challenge."
The North Carolina State Wolfpack have a rich basketball tradition, having won two national championships, most recently in 1983 under late, legendary coach Jim Valvano.
This past season, North Carolina State finished 15-16 after losing in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. The Wolfpack recorded wins against Elite 8 qualifier Davidson College, NC and Sweet 16 qualifier Villanova University, Penn., in 2007-2008 and have advanced to the NCAA tournament five times this decade.
The UNC-Charlotte 49ers return to York four years after defeating the Lions 110-62 in 2004.
UNC-Charlotte advanced to the semi-finals of the Atlantic 10 tournament this past season before earning a berth in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), giving the 49ers eight post-season bids (including five NCAA tournament trips) in head coach Bobby Lutz’s 10 years with the squad. The 49ers (20-14) lost to the University of Nebraska in the first round of the NIT. UNC-Charlotte also notched a win over Davidson College in 2007-2008.
The Penn State Nittany Lions finished 15-16 this past season after losing in the first round of the Big 10 tournament. Highlights of the season included a win over Sweet 16 qualifier Michigan State and a victory over then-No. 17 ranked Indiana State University.
York finished 7-15 in 2007-2008 to finish fifth in the Ontario University Athletics East Division. The Lions lost in the first round of the playoffs against the Queen’s Golden Gaels.
Ticket information for the Labour Day weekend games will be announced at a later date.