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Jacksonville (19-11) at East Carolina (18-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, March 15th, 8:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum (8,000) -- Greenville, North Carolina. Television: FCS. CIT Record: Jacksonville 0-0, ECU 0-0. Series Record: Jacksonville leads, 4-0.
GAME NOTES: Making their first postseason appearance since 1993, the East Carolina Pirates will host the Jacksonville Dolphins in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.
In terms of the all-time series between the two schools, the Dolphins have won all four matchups against East Carolina.
The Dolphins are making their third straight postseason appearance. The last two seasons Jacksonville took part in the NIT, and last year the team grabbed an upset victory over top-seeded Arizona State. It was the 10th postseason victory for Jacksonville, but the team's first since 2010. This year's squad closed out the season with three straight losses, but despite the late season collapse the Dolphins still finished with 19 wins and a 13-7 mark in Atlantic Sun Conference action.
As mentioned earlier this is the first taste of postseason action for the Pirates since 1993, and since the program jump ranks to Division I, East Carolina has made only four postseason appearances. East Carolina finished this year with an 18-15 ledger, marking the first winning season in 14 years for the Pirates.
The majority of Jacksonville's success this season can be attributed to the team's tenacious effort at the defensive end of the floor, as the Dolphins have held the opposition to just 65.5 ppg. However, the Dolphins have been unable to fully enjoy their play in that area because the team has been too inconsistent offensively. Jacksonville is producing a lackluster 68.1 points per game on the year, and have just one player averaging double-figures. That player is Ayron Hardy, who is netting 12.5 ppg for Jacksonville, while also pulling down 6.1 rebounds per outing. Delwan Graham has also been solid in the paint for Jacksonville, as the forward is leading the team with 6.5 rpg, while chipping in 9.1 ppg.
The Pirates were slightly more successful in terms of offensive production. ECU is being led by Jontae Sherrod's 15.2 ppg. However, Sherrod has not done it alone, as Darrius Morrow and Jamar Abrams have also made solid contributions. Morrow, who is pacing the team with 6.0 rpg, is also netting 12.9 ppg, while Abrams is chipping in 10.4 ppg behind a 45.5 percent shooting effort. What could hurt ECU's chances in this contest is the availability of Brock Young. Young is only posting 9.6 ppg on the year, but the guard is the floor general for the Pirates, averaging a team-best 4.4 assists per contest.
If Young is able to go, and is not hindered by his knee than the Pirates will have a great chance at claiming a rare postseason victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: East Carolina 67, Jacksonville 63
03/15 10:34:25 ET
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