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Originally published: 2011-07-20 15:07:08
Last modified: 2011-08-26 14:30:53

ASU men's basketball schedule released

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

Highlighted by showdowns against in-state rival East Carolina in Charlotte and a road game at North Carolina, Appalachian State announced its men's basketball game schedule Wednesday.

The Mountaineers play East Carolina at Time Warner Arena in Charlotte on Nov. 22. Appalachian State will be considered the home team and will return the favor by playing the Pirates in Greenville the following season.

Mountaineers coach Jason Capel said on a conference call Wednesday that the number of Appalachian State fans who attended the Southern Conference Tournament two years ago, when it was in Charlotte, sparked the idea of playing a game in the city. East Carolina was open to the idea and the game was set.

“We had such a great turnout in the SoCon tournament a couple of years ago,” Capel said. “We've got a strong fan base there and a strong alumni base there and we want to cater to it if we can.”

Appalachian State will also play at North Carolina on Dec. 17. Capel, a North Carolina graduate and former standout forward, played his first regular season game as a Tar Heel against Appalachian State in the Smith Center.

Capel also played in the first game in the Holmes Center, a 99-69 North Carolina win, in 2000. Capel said he talked to North Carolina coach Roy Williams about possibly playing at the Smith Center after Capel was hired.

“They're going to be a very talented team, but we want to go in there and see how we match up,” Capel said. “We'll go and compete hard and hopefully we'll have a chance to win the basketball game.

“I'd like to said it's just another game, but it's not. It's a game that's near and dear to my heart. I want my guys to experience competing at the highest level, and it doesn't get any higher than competing against the Tar Heels.”

Appalachian State plays 14 home games in the 2011-12 season, beginning Nov. 11 against Lees-McRae. Appalachian State also hosts Milligan on Nov. 26, former SoCon rival East Tennessee State on Dec. 10, Campbell on Dec. 22 and UNC Greensboro on Dec. 1 in the Mountaineers' Southern Conference opener.

Appalachian State travels to Minnesota on Dec. 6 and at Miami on Dec. 30. The Mountaineers also play at East Tennessee State Nov. 15.