HUNTSVILLE – The state of Tennessee is sending two of its women’s college basketball teams south to square off at the Von Braun Center next week in a non-conference battle for both teams.
The University of Tennessee and Middle Tennessee State University will clash Wednesday at Huntsville’s Propst Arena, which is making its debut as a neutral site for women’s basketball.
For the Blue Raiders, the game offers the opportunity to experience the VBC where the regular-season ending Conference USA men’s and women’s tournaments will be played in March.
Tickets for the game, which is sponsored by defense industry leader Akima, are available at www.ticketmaster.com for $20. Also, fans should take note that the VBC is a cashless venue. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. and will be carried by ESPN+.
The VBC’s Propst Arena will make its debut as a neutral site for women’s basketball when the Blue Raiders and Lady Vols meet MTSU is 6-3. The Lady Vols are 4-3 and ranked No. 20 by the Associated Press.
Both teams played in last year’s NCAA Tournament. Tennessee is 22-0 all-time vs. MTSU.
A week after the women’s game, Auburn’s men will play at the VBC for the first time in 20 years when they face UNC Asheville on Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. The game is a sellout and will be broadcast on SEC Network+ with in-game commentary from The Next Round featuring guests such as Bill Monet, CEO of presenting sponsor Akima, Tommy Kyle, Nations of Coaches executive director, Tommy Battle, mayor of Huntsville and more.
For the men, Auburn is 5-2 heading into a home game Saturday against Indiana at 1 p.m. Meanwhile, UNC Asheville is 5-3 going into Tuesday’s game at Kennesaw State.
The last time Auburn played at the VBC resulted in a 105-56 win over Grambling on Nov. 29, 2003.
“UNC Asheville has been one of the top mid-major programs in this part of the country, so it will be a good test for us,’’ Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl said when the game was announced before the season.
Both men’s teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season.
The Rocket City Classic came together through a partnership with Nations of Coaches, the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Von Braun Center, the Huntsville Sports Commission and Knight Eady.