Appalachian State (13-17) vs. UNC Greensboro (12-18)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 3, 12:00 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: U.S. Cellular Center (7,654) -- Asheville, North Carolina. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: ASU 9-5, UNCG 7-5. Away Record: ASU 3-11, UNCG 4-13. Neutral Record: ASU 1-1, UNCG 1-0. Conference Record: ASU 7-11, UNCG 10-8. Series Record: Appalachian State leads, 20-17.
GAME NOTES: The fifth seeded-Appalachian State Mountaineers will try to pull off another upset as they square off with the North Division's top-seeded UNC Greensboro Spartans in the quarterfinal round of the 2012 Southern Conference Tournament at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, North Carolina.
The Mountaineers have to like their chances against the Spartans, as the second meeting this season between the two programs went into overtime before UNCG claimed a 77-73 victory in a contest played in Greensboro. ASU defeated UNCG, on Dec. 1 at home. ASU will get another shot, this time on a neutral floor, to improve upon its 20-17 lead in the all-time series with UNCG.
The Mountaineers might have saved their best for last, as they set new season- highs in multiple categories during their 93-81 victory over the College of Charleston on Friday in the first round of the tourney. ASU's 93 points, 53.5 percent shooting from three-point range, and 60 second-half points were all new season-bests. Coach Jason Capel's team is now 13-17 after the win. The Mountaineers have averaged 68.9 ppg at the offensive end this season, which would be decent if they were not allowing opponents to net 70.3 ppg. Charleston scored 10.3 points higher than their season average against ASU on Friday.
ASU was led by seniors Mike Neal and Omar Carter in their win over the Cougars. Neal produced a game-high 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the floor. Carter added 19 points in the win. Andre Williamson and Isaac Butts were crucial in the victory. The frontcourt duo combined to pull down 29 rebounds to help the Mountaineers earn a 50-31 edge on the glass. Hamilton also added 11 points and Williamson scored 10 points. Tab Hamilton chipped in 17 points for ASU.
The Mountaineers now have to play their second game in two days, this time against the North Division champion Spartans. UNCG finished the season with a 12-18 overall record, but had a strong 10-8 SoCon ledger. Wes Miller was named the team's interim head coach on Dec. 14, making him the youngest Division I head coach in the nation at 29 years old. Miller's inexperience did not show, as he earned the SoCon Coach of the Year award after leading the Spartans to 10 wins in 11 games. UNCG did not have a pretty finish to the season, as it lost its final three games by double-digit margins.
Trevis Simpson and Derrell Armstrong were both named to All-SoCon Teams after being the leaders on the floor for UNCG. Simpson provided a team-high average of 18.2 ppg on 38.1 percent shooting from the floor. The sophomore guard ended the regular season with a 22-point and seven-rebound outing in a loss to Elon. Armstrong was the team's second-leading scorer with an average of 12.5 ppg in 23.2 minutes per game. Armstrong had 27 points in UNCG's overtime win over ASU on Jan. 26, while Simpson netted 24 points in the victory.
UNCG put together a remarkable run to earn its first-round bye. However, the Spartans' recent play has been disappointing. With the Mountaineers looking strong while putting on an offensive clinic on Friday, the Spartans will certainly need their dynamic duo to produce.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Appalachian State 76, UNC Greensboro 71
03/03 10:38:23 ET