UNC Greensboro (8-21) vs. Chattanooga (13-18)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, March 8, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: U.S. Cellular Center (13,080) -- Asheville, North
Carolina. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: UNCG 6-9, UTC 9-9. Away Record:
UNCG 2-12, UTC 5-8. Neutral Record: UNCG 0-0, UTC 0-0. Conference Record: UNCG
6-12, UTC 9-9. Series Record: UTC leads, 18-14.
GAMES NOTES: One of the most storied programs in Southern Conference history
will try to make a run at the league title once again when the Chattanooga
Mocs clash with the UNC Greensboro Spartans in first-round action on Friday.
UNCG has had much more humble results as a member of the Southern Conference
as the Spartans will be going for just their second league title. The Spartans
have a big hill to climb to do so after they finished the season at 8-21
overall and 6-12 in league play to earn just the 10th seed in this year's
tourney. The Spartans lost three straight and six of their last seven games,
although the lone win in that stretch was a 94-68 rout of Chattanooga.
Chattanooga has had a long run of success in the SoCon as it is behind only
Davidson for tournament titles with, 10 while appearing in the finals 17
difference times, earning a 52-25 record in tournament play. The Mocs' most
recent championship came in 2009 but like the Spartans their resume doesn't
indicate that they will be adding to the trophy case this time around.
Chattanooga was just 13-18 overall and with an even 9-9 split of its
conference games, managed to secure just the seventh seed.
The win for the Spartans against the Mocs most recently was actually their
second of the season as they swept the season series. The Spartans have now
won four straight against the Mocs to pull closer in the all-time series which
Chattanooga leads, 18-14.
In its regular season finale against Elon last Saturday, UNCG was dismissed
unceremoniously in an 80-66 decision. The Spartans allowed the Phoenix to
shoot at an alarming 56.5 percent from the field while connecting on just 39.7
It has been that inability to get stops on the defensive end that has kept the
Spartans down this season. They are surrendering 73.7 points per game to
opponents despite keeping them below 45 percent shooting. The Spartans
themselves can score the ball (71.5 ppg) well enough but they have done so
without much efficiency as they shoot at just a 41.9 percent clip from the
floor. The shooting woes stem from a reliance on shooting from distance as
the Spartans have attempted the second most 3-point shots in the SoCon (619).
Trevis Simpson (18.8 ppg) is the top scorer not only for the Spartans but the
conference as a whole, while Derrell Armstrong (14.6 ppg) is also capable in
The Mocs were also on the short end of a route in their regular-season finale
as they were dismissed 86-60 by Appalachian State. The difference in the game
came at the 3-point line where the Mocs were outscored by a stunning 36-9
There is one area where Chattanooga has really thrived this season and that is
on the boards. The Mocs are the best rebounding team in the SoCon (38 pg),
while rankings among the 40 best teams in the country in that category.
Unfortunately the Mocs provide a ton of rebounding opportunities themselves,
shooting the third-worst percentage from the floor among SoCon teams (.416).
Z. Mason (14.7 ppg, 7.6 rpg) is the top rebounder on the squad and its most
productive offensive commodity as well. The 6-foot-5 forward is a bit
undersized for the frontcourt but has a nose for the ball and ranks fourth in
the conference on the glass as well. Gee McGhee (12.3 ppg) provides a nice
complement for Mason in the backcourt as the only other double-figure scorer.
This season UNC Greensboro seems to have the Mocs' number. If Simpson and the
rest of the Spartans are able to convert from long distance more effectively
than they did on Saturday they may just pull off an upset.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UNC Greensboro 78, Chattanooga 73
03/08 10:35:36 ET