970...The single season rebounding record of the OVC? The RPI of your alma maters intramural team? Possibly. But it IS the unofficial capacity of the Charleston Southern University Field House- the smallest in Division I. Unofficial because that number may trend upward depending on the rowdiness of the nights game and the availabilty of a Fire Marshall. Locally known as the Buc Dome the CSU Field House offers quite a home-court advantage to the Buccaneers. The close-sitting and loud fans provide an "inviting" environment to visiting teams. So much so that a local rival refused to continue its home and home series for several years. (The one-sided results in that series may have made that decision easier). CSU is a member of the Big South Conference. An original member of the conference founded in 1985, CSU (once Baptist College at Charleston, SC) is a private school of 3,200 students. Rarely will the Bucs be the larger program versus any school. Any question of that is answered when teams walk into the Buc Dome. The modest facility saw the Bucs win the first two Big South Championships in 1985 - '86. As a new conference there was no automatic qualifying for the Big Dance. Again in 1995 the Bucs cut down the nets only to see an NCAA conference qualifier rule keep them out of the Madness. Finally, in 1997 enough wins in front of 970 fans (give or take) gave the Bucs a matchup with the UCLA Bruins. The well thought out pairing in Auburn Hills Michigan pitted one of the most storied programs in college basketball against a first time Dancer. There were no true illusions of an upset but Brett Larrick provided some fun with 36 points against the Bruins. The small school with the smallest gym had finally broken through. The Bucs haven't danced on the big stage since. But until a new home is built they will continue to enjoy the confines of the Buc Dome and work toward a return trip. Maybe again to Auburn Hills. After all, a quick check tells us it's a trip of 970 miles... give or take.
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