Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Road to Asheville (Jan 9, 2016)

Most of the Southern Conference basketball teams have now played two games into their conference schedule, and on Saturday's all ten teams will play. We'll see if the top teams can hold on.

Here's the schedule -

Chattanooga (13-2, 2-0 SoCon) at Furman (7-8, 1-1 SoCon)   12:30 pm  ESPN3
League leading Chattanooga travels down to Greenville to meet the Paladins. The Mocs are 4-2 on the road, while the Paladins are 5-1 in defending the home court in the Timmons Center. Chattanooga brings in a 7 game winning streak, including wins over The Citadel and Mercer.  The Mocs have split their two conference games, beating VMI at home, and losing to UNCG on the road. The Mocs look for revenge against the Paladins for the second round loss in the conference last March. The Mocs swept the Paladins during the regular season. The Mocs get a small measure of revenge with an 8 point win in Greesville.

Mercer (11-4, 1-1 SoCon) at The Citadel  (7-8, 0-2 SoCon)  1:00 pm ESPN3
The Bears travel to the South Carolina low country to meet the high scoring Bulldogs of the Citadel. The Bulldog lead scoring in the SoCon, averaging 90.8 points per game, while the Bears rank 6th, averaging 70.5 points per game.  The Bears have had some trouble on the road, and enter the game 1-4 playing away games, while the Bulldogs are 3-2 in games at McAlister Field House. The Bears split their conference schedule with a win over Samford in Macon, and lost to Chattanooga last Tuesday on the road, while the Bulldogs lost both of their conference game, losing to Chattanooga (78-84) at home, and to Samford (74-94) on the road. We're expecting an extremely close game, but the Bears win by 4.

Samford (10-5, 1-1 SoCon) at Wofford (5-9, 2-0 SoCon)  2:00 pm  SoCon Digital Network
Samford travels to Spartanburg to meet the Terriers in the third game of the day. Last season, Wofford swept the Bulldogs, and Samford would like a little payback.  This season, the Bulldogs are 4-4 on the road, while the Terriers are 3-1 in the Benjamin Johnson Arena. In conference play, Samford lost at Mercer (50-69) and won in the Hanna Center over the Citadel (94-74), while the Terrier are 2-0 in conference, with wins over UNCG and VMI.  A very improved Samford team picks up the win by 5 points.

UNCG (5-10, 1-1 SoCon) at ETSU (8-6, 1-0 SoCon)  4:00 pm  ESPN3
The Spartans travel to Johnson City, Tn to meet Bucs in Freedom Hall. Last season the two teams split, with each team winning on the road. This season, the Spartans are a dismal 0-8 in road games, while the Bucs are 5-1 in Johnson City's Freedom Hall. UNCG has split their two conference game, losing at Wofford (78-87) and picking up a one point win over Furman (76-66) in Greensboro. The Bucs have only played one conference game to this point, an 83-66 win over Western Carolina. The Bucs come into the game winning 3 stright, and this game may game may well be the most one-sided of the day's games. Expect a 14 point win by the Bucs.

VMI (5-8, 0-2 SoCon) at Western Carolina (5-9,  0-1 SoCon)  4:30 pm  SoCon Digital Network
In the only game between two teams with out a conference victory, the Keydets of VMI travel to Cullowhee to meet the Catamounts in Cullowhee. With losses to both Furman and Wofford, the Keydets enter the game with a 0-2 conference record, and the Cats, having lost to ETSU, the Cats are 0-1 in the conference. In road games, the Keydets are 1-6, and Western Carolina is 5-1 in the Ramsey Center. The Cats protect the home court, and pick up a 10 point win.

Standings -
Basketball (M)ConferenceOverall
Chattanooga2 - 013 - 2
Wofford2 - 05 - 9
ETSU1 - 08 - 6
Mercer1 - 111 - 4
Samford1 - 110 - 5
Furman1 - 17 - 8
UNCG1 - 15 - 10
Western Carolina0 - 15 - 9
The Citadel0 - 27 - 8
VMI0 - 25 - 8

RealTime RPI rankings

          RPI RkSouthernConfAllRPISOS Rk
Up 8 From Last Week
31  Chattanooga2-0  11-2 0.6069146
Down 2 From Last Week
95  Mercer1-1  9-4 0.5497233
Up 5 From Last Week
133  E. Tennessee St.1-0  6-6 0.5271139
Up 7 From Last Week
155  Samford1-1  8-5 0.5100290
Up 14 From Last WeekUp 14 From Last Week
194  Western Carolina0-1  2-9 0.478018
Up 28 From Last WeekUp 28 From Last Week
254  Wofford2-0  4-9 0.4429263
Down 34 From Last WeekDown 34 From Last Week
267  Virginia Military0-2  2-8 0.4362158
Down 3 From Last Week
271  Citadel0-2  4-8 0.4343297
Down 18 From Last WeekDown 18 From Last Week
275  Furman1-1  5-8 0.4279312
Up 24 From Last WeekUp 24 From Last Week
286  N.C. Greensboro1-1  2-10 0.4225125

That's how we see them, who do you think will win?

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