Read through the rest of the NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheets here.
Conference: Big South
Coach: Eddie Biedenbach
Record: 24-9, 16-2 Big South (1st)
Rankings and Ratings:
– Kenpom: 123
– RPI: 125
– AP/USA Today: Unranked
Seeding?: As an auto-bid from one of the weakest conferences in the country, UNC-Asheville looks like a play-in game team right now. That will change depending on how many upsets there are during Championship Week.
Names you need to know: Matt Dickey (16.5 ppg, 3.5 apg, 1.4 spg), J.P. Primm (15.3 ppg, 4.1 apg, 1.8 spg), Chris Stephenson (13.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.7 apg)
Stats you need to know: UNC-Asheville is fourth in the country in free throw percentage and also fourth in free throw rate, which is a good combination because it means they are getting to the free throw line a lot and they are making a lot of their free throws.
Tendencies: The Bulldogs are a guard-heavy team that like to get out and run the floor, but unlike most guard-heavy teams, Asheville is not a great jump-shooting team. Instead, they thrive on the ability of guys like Primm, Dickey and Jeremy Atkinson to drive the ball.
Big wins, bad losses: The Bulldogs got smoked by both Western Carolina and Ohio, which is never a good sign. Statistically speaking, UNCA’s best win is over USC-Upstate, but they did beat Utah as well.
How’d they get here?: The Bulldogs rolled fairly easily through the Big South tournament, beating No. 7 VMI 80-64 to earn the auto-bid.
Outlook: Asheville has a talented perimeter attack, a veteran roster and NCAA Tournament experience after making the dance last year. Those are good qualities for a team to have. But Asheville looks headed for, at best, a No. 15 seed. Winning a game would be a massive upset. Enjoy the ride while it lasts.