The York Lions men’s basketball team plays host to three US National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 teams this weekend, Aug. 30 to Sept. 1, at the Tait McKenzie Centre on York’s Keele campus.
The NCAA weekend kicks off with a visit from North Carolina State University on Saturday, Aug. 30 at 7pm, before continuing with games against the University of North Carolina-Charlotte on Sunday, Aug. 31 at 7pm and Pennsylvania State University on Labour Day, Monday, Sept. 1 at 12pm.
Right: The York Lions will host three NCAA Division 1 teams this weekend
It marks the fifth year in a row that York will entertain American college teams over the Labour Day weekend.
"This weekend will be extremely challenging for us, especially for some of our veterans who want to see how they stack up," Lions head coach Bob Bain said. "It’s exciting for all our guys to compete against teams at this level. We look forward to the opportunity."
The North Carolina State Wolfpack has 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 in 2007-2008 and have advanced to the NCAA tournament five times this decade.
The Charlotte 49ers return to York four years after defeating the Lions 110-62 in 2004. Charlotte advanced to the semi-finals of the Atlantic 10 tournament this past season before earning a berth in the National Invitational 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 lost to Nebraska in the first round of the NIT. Charlotte also notched a win over Davidson 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 University 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.
Six Lions rookies will make their York debuts, including Reiko Ruach, younger brother of York basketball star Tut Ruach.
Tickets are limited for the North Carolina State game because of the Frosh Frenzie event that takes place at Tait McKenzie that evening. Ticket sales begin at 5pm at Tait on Saturday and Sunday, and 11am on Monday. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students.