ATLANTA, Ga. - The ASUN Conference announced today that the Liberty at FGCU Men's Basketball contest on Jan. 2 has been selected and added to the ESPN Family of Networks. The game at Alico Arena in Fort Myers, Fla., is scheduled air on ESPNU at 5 PM ET.
The Jan. 2 contest will be the first of two meetings between the Flames, last season's tournament and co-regular season champions, and Eagles during the 2019-20 season. Last season, Liberty earned a pair of wins over FGCU; 81-63 on Jan. 5 and 74-67 on Feb. 9.
"Earning a national spotlight for Liberty and FGCU reflects our level of play, nationally recognized programs and our continually growing partnership with ESPN," ASUN Commissioner Ted Gumbart said. "The ASUN relationship with ESPN dates back to 1989 when the network first aired our Men's Basketball Final and it continues to develop through the ASUN's ESPN On-Campus Initiative. We look forward to a compelling ASUN matchup between Liberty and FGCU in Fort Myers on Jan. 2."
Over the past three seasons, either FGCU, Liberty or Lipscomb have claimed the conference regular season title, while one of the two programs have also captured three of the last four ASUN Championship crowns. The Eagles and Flames have also registered four of the last five wins by an ASUN squad in the NCAA Tournament. Last season, No. 12 Liberty earned a First Round win in the Big Dance over No. 5 Mississippi State, while FGCU recorded a 96-65 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson in the 2016 NCAA First Four. Prior to that, the 2012-13 Eagles became the first 15-seed to advance to the Sweet 16 in tournament history after disposing of No. 2 Georgetown and topping No. 7 San Diego State two days later.
The upcoming ASUN Championship Final on March 8, 2020, marks the 32nd consecutive year the contest will air on the ESPN Family of Networks. FGCU also played in and hosted the last conference regular-season ESPNU broadcast on Feb. 21, 2014.
The ASUN's partnership with ESPN dates back to 1989 with the airing of the league's Men's Basketball Final between Centenary and Little Rock and has grown exponentially through the conference's ESPN On-Campus Production Initiative, which began in the fall of 2012. Since its inception, ESPN has collaborated with the ASUN to adopt the conference-wide on-campus production model.
ABOUT THE ASUN
The ASUN Conference is an NCAA Division I league with nine member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The ASUN meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement through a true balance between student and athlete. Six ASUN schools reside in Nielsen Top 50 national media markets, and all nine are in top 80 markets. The ASUN includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Liberty University, Lipscomb University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, University of North Alabama, University of North Florida and Stetson University. Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky., joins the ASUN for the 2020-21 academic year.