In Liberty’s 21 year Big South history, they have made the Tournament Finals 4 previous times – 1994, 1996, 1997, and 2004.
1994 – W, 76-62 Campbell
Game was played in Charleston, SC. Peter Aluma was named the tournament MVP. Liberty had 5 players in double figures led by Aluma’s 14 points and 9 boards. Matt Hildebrand had 13 points including 10/10 from FT line. The Flames would lose to #1 North Carolina 71-51 in the program’s first ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
Skip to the 8:10 mark of this video to see the final seconds & celebration.
1996 – L, 79-53 UNC Greensboro
Game was played in Lynchburg. UNC Greensboro claimed their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
1997 – L, 64-54 Charleston Southern
Game was played in Lynchburg. Peter Aluma was named tournament MVP despite the losing effort. Charleston Southern claimed their first & only NCAA Tournament appearance. The Flames lost even though this team was arguably the greatest team in program history.
2004 – W, 89-44 High Point
Game was played in Lynchburg in front of a raucous crowd. The Flames dominated, and were led by Freshman Larry Blair’s 29 points. Gabe Martin added 19 points and 11 boards. Jason Sarchet chipped in 14 points and 14 rebounds. Freshman David Dees had 12 points. Liberty would go on to lose to #1 St Joseph’s 82-63. Dees had 22 points in the program’s 2nd ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
The Flames will play for the 5th time in school history in the Big South Tournament Finals on Sunday against Charleston Southern.