March 16, 20181st2ndFinal
North Carolina434184
Stats at a GlanceLIPNC
FG Percentage.359 (23-64) .517 (31-60)
3P FG Percentage.250 (7-28) .409 (9-22)
FT Percentage.867 (13-15) .722 (13-18)
Offensive Rebounds610
Defensive Rebounds2337
Total Rebounds2947
Bench Points1915
PointsCooper - 14
Williams - 18
ReboundsMarberry - 7
Pepper - 7
Pinson - 10
Manley - 10
AssistsMathews - 4
Buckland - 4
Pinson - 7
StealsMathews - 3
Berry II - 3
BlocksMarberry - 1
Pepper - 1
Pinson - 1
Manley - 1
Bisons, Tar Heels Set To Dance Friday In NCAA First Round
Thursday, March 15, 2018
By Kirk Downs & Logan Butts
Bisons, Tar Heels Set To Dance Friday In NCAA First Round

CHARLOTTE - For the first time in program history, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team will be dancing as the Bisons are set to take on North Carolina on Thursday in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte.

The No. 15-seeded Bisons (23-9) and the No. 2-seeded Tar Heels (25-10) will be tipping off at 1:45 p.m. tomorrow on CBS. 

Lipscomb enters the Big Dance on an eight-game winning streak, culminating in a 108-96 victory over FGCU in the ASUN Tournament Final to earn the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament bid. 

The defending national champion Tar Heels also head into the matchup with confidence as UNC made a run to the finals of the ACC Tournament before bowing out to Virginia, the NCAA Tournament’s overall No. 1 seed. 

The game between the Bisons and Tar Heels is primed for points. Lipscomb is the fourth in the country in terms of pace of play with 78.9 possessions per game. UNC averages 73.5.

Handling the call on CBS is legendary Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery and Tracy Wolfson.


  • UNC was named 10th in the final AP Poll heading into the tournament.
  • The Tar Heels are led by All-ACC First Team members Luke Maye and Joel Berry. Maye averages 17.2 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, while Berry sits at 17.1 points and 3.3 assists per contest. Berry was the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player a season ago.
  • Cameron Johnson (12.7), Kenny Williams (11.4), and Theo Pinson (10.3) also score in double-figures for North Carolina.
  • UNC is 12-7 against NCAA Tournament teams this season. 
  • The Tar Heels are fourth in the nation in RPI and first in strength of schedule. 
  • UNC has made 40 of the last 43 NCAA Tournaments. 



  • Only eight 15-seeds have won in the history of the NCCA Tournament. The last instance came in 2016 when MTSU defeated Michigan State 90-81. Fellow ASUN program FGCU took down Georgetown 78-68 as a 15-seed in 2013.
  • The Bisons enter the NCAA Tournament on a eight-game winning streak, which is tied with Virginia, and Bucknell for the seventh-longest active streak. A win vs. UNC would be Lipscomb’s longest win streak since capturing nine-straight in the 2008-09 season.
  • Lipscomb set an ASUN Championship Final record with 108 points against FGCU. The two teams combined for 204 points for the highest-scoring final in league history with the previous marking sitting at 201 set in 1985.
  • The Bisons have posted back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in its NCAA Division I history. Lipscomb’s 23 wins this season sit as a program D-I best.
  • The Bisons are averaging an ASUN-best 82.6 PPG this season which sits 21st in the NCAA. Lipscomb has led the league in scoring for the second-straight season after averaging 85.0 PPG last year.
  • Lipscomb is also the top-rebounding team in the ASUN at 39.0 RPG, which sits 24th in the NCAA.
  • Garrison Mathews and Rob Marberry both landed on the First Team All-Conference, giving Lipscomb two first team members since Adnan Hodzic and Josh Slater in the 2010-11 season.
  • Head Coach Casey Alexander sits with 108 career victories, which is 20th-most all-time by an ASUN Head Coach and third-most among an active ASUN Head Coaches trailing North Florida’s Matthew Driscoll (147) and FGCU’s Joe Dooley (114).
  • Alexander previously appeared in the NCAA Tournament on four occasions as an assistant coach with crosstown rival Belmont. He spent 16 years on the bench at Belmont with legendary coach Rick Byrd.
  • Mathews sits with 707 points on the season, which is tied for sixth-most in ASUN single-season history. He needs three points to move past Ty Greene (2015 ASUN Player of the Year) for fifth place.
  • Mathews’ 1,720 career points are 23rd-most in ASUN history and second among active league players.
  • Mathews’ 85 points over three games in the ASUN Championship fell two short of tying the league tournament record of 87 set by Centenary’s Willie Jackson in 1982.
  • Rob Marberry is shooting 61.9 percent from the floor this year – the 14th best single-season percentage in league history.
  • Marberry is 4th in league history with a career average of 61.6 %. In ASUN games, he is averaging 20.1 points and shooting 64.6 % from the floor.
  • Marberry needs 68 points to reach 1,000 points in his Lipscomb career. He has totaled 932 points in his two seasons in Nashville. Combining his freshman season at Western Kentucky, Marberry enters the UNC contest with 956 career points.
  • The Bisons leading rebounder is Eli Pepper, who has pulled down double figures in rebounds 11 times this season. He averaged 8.6 vs. ASUN teams. His 738 career boards are 27th most in league history.
  • Pepper’s 739 career rebounds sit 26th in league history. He has the opportunity to become only the fourth player in league history to reach 1,000 career rebounds. He owns 29 career double-digit rebounding performances including 11 this season.
  • Pepper owns a 3.53 cumulative GPA as a Corporate Marketing major to earn his second-straight selection to the ASUN All-Academic Team. He is the second Bisons student-athlete in program history to earn two selections joining Cam Miller (2016, 17).
  • Lipscomb has won 12 of its last 13 games. The lone blemish is an 81-77 loss to NJIT.
  • As a team the Bisons are 21st nationally with 82.6 points per game, 24th in rebounds per game (38.97).
  • The Bisons produced 24 assists in their ASUN Championship victory against FGCU. That came on the heels of 22 assists against Stetson in the semis, and then 19 against Jacksonville in the quarters.
  • Lipscomb owns a 17-3 record when recording 15 or more assists in a game this season. The Bisons lead the league with 15.7 APG this season.
  • Lipscomb finished 13-2 at Allen Arena this season, and 10-7 away.
  • Lipscomb scored a league-best 85.9. points per game against ASUN competition.
  • Mathews is 12th nationally in points per game. He is 7th in free throw attempts (248) and 11th in free throws made (198).
  • The Bisons are 8th in the nation in free throw attempts (811) and 9th in free throws made (580).
  • Kenny Cooper is 20th in the nation in steals per game in Division I with 2.10.
  • In league play, Cooper increased his scoring from 9.9 PPG to 10.8 PPG. Over three games in the ASUN Championship, Cooper averaged 12 PPG including a 17-point, nine assist effort in the ASUN Final against FGCU.
  • Over three games in the ASUN Championship, Rose averaged 13.3 PPG; the second-best average on the team behind Mathews (28.3). Rose connected on nine of his 18 three point attempts in only 18.3 minutes per game.
  • In league play, Rose increased his three-point shooting percentage to 42.9 percent; fifth-best in the ASUN after struggling in the month of November making only eight of his first 38 attempts as a Bison.
  • In the ASUN Championship Final, Buckland set personal season-highs with five steals and three blocks against FGCU as the Bisons finished with 12 swipes and five swatted shots. He added three assists and four rebounds to go along with his five points.
  • Buckland stuffs the stat sheet for Lipscomb averaging 7.5 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 3.1 APG, 1.0 SPG and 0.7 BPG.
  • Mathews has registered seven 30-point games in his career. Four of those performances came this season including a 33-point showing in the ASUN Final and 43 points against Kennesaw State on Jan. 6th in the conference opener.
  • Mathews made seven three’s in the ASUN Final to push his career total of three’s made to 243, which is tied for 17th in league history. He is on pace to break the league record of 316 set by Campbell’s Adam Fellers (1998-02).
  • Mathews has made 198 free throws this season, which ranks 11th this season in the NCAA and the second-most in league history trailing only Campbell’s Jonathan Rodriguez (208) set in 2008. For his career, Mathews has 417 made free throws, which is 13th-most in league history.
  • Mathews has posted 39 20-point games in his three-year career at Lipscomb; most by an active ASUN player with FGCU’s Brandon Goodwin sitting in second with 29.


  • ASUN programs have combined for four victories in the NCAA Tournament since 2013 with FGCU capturing three and Mercer landing one win. In league history, ASUN teams have collected seven NCAA victories.
  • For the third-straight season, an ASUN team is playing against a member of the ACC in the NCAA Tournament First Round; FGCU vs. Florida State (2017), FGCU vs. North Carolina (2016). In its last year as an ASUN member, Mercer faced Duke in the 2014 NCAA Tournament First Round and upset the Blue Devils, 78-71, in Raleigh.
  • ASUN programs have combined for four victories in the NCAA Tournament since 2013 with FGCU capturing three and Mercer landing one win. In league history, ASUN teams have collected seven NCAA victories.


The winner of the Bisons and Tar Heels will get the winner of the No. 7 Texas A&M and No. 10 Providence. That game would be played on Sunday at a time to be determined in the round of 32.