NEWBERRY – When the Newberry College men’s basketball team kicks off the 2016-17 season, they will play the first NCAA basketball game of the season.
Then they will do it again that night.
And then again the next afternoon.
The Wolves and head coach Dave Davis have adjusted the schedule for the opening weekend to include one of the most aggressive stretches of games in the regular season by any team in the nation.
On Nov. 11, Newberry will take on Erskine at 12:01 a.m. at Erskine then will travel to Charlotte for a game at 7 p.m. The following day — Nov. 12 — they will be at North Greenville for a game at 4 p.m.
“This unique opening weekend will be a treat for our fans and will be quite the early test for our team,” Davis said. “Our teams have become known for our up-tempo style and in turn, our conditioning. Playing three games in just over 36 hours is a little bit crazy, but so are we.”
The Wolves’ games at Erskine and North Greenville are part of the third version of the new Little Four Classic and are part of the Division II conference challenge scheduling. The game at Charlotte will be the 49ers’ regular season opener but will be an exhibition game for Newberry, not counting for or against the Wolves’ record for the year.
The 12:01 a.m. tipoff at Erskine is the earliest possible tipoff time for an NCAA regular season game on the 2016-17 calendar. While the term “Midnight Madness” is commonly used for the start of a team’s practice schedule in October, this year’s Wolves will have “madness” to start the regular season.
This start time for the beginning of the season is uncommon, but has been done before at lower divisions throughout the nation, as well as a notable 2003 Villanova vs. Temple season opener. Villanova opened that season with five games in six days, played across three time zones.
“We had opportunities present themselves to us this year that we didn’t want to pass up,” Davis said. “I like trying unique things with our team and this is certainly unique. I expect fantastic crowds at all three of these games and I expect our young men to rise to a challenge.”
This release was provided by Newberry College.