Get to know all of the NCAA Tournament’s automatic bids here.
Conference: Atlantic Sun
Coach: Bob Hoffman
Record: 26-8 (14-4 Atlantic Sun)
Rankings and Ratings:
– Kenpom: 102
– RPI: 88
– AP/USA Today: Not ranked
Seeding?: In Dave Ommen’s most recent bracket, it had Florida Gulf Coast as the automatic bid from the Atlantic Sun. Dunk City was projected as a No. 16 seed.
Names you need to know: Langston Hall (14.7 ppg, 5.7 apg); Daniel Coursey (9.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.1 bpg)
Stats you need to know: Had the Atlantic Sun’s top scoring offense (79.5 points per game) and scoring defense (66.4 points per game). Langston Hall, the senior floor general from the Bears has a 2.37 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Tendencies: The Bears have the tendency this season to be in a lot of close ball games. Langston Hall’s 3-pointer gave Mercer a huge win over Ole Miss. Before that the Bears knocked off Seton Hall in double overtime. The Bears played another two overtime game in the A-Sun semifinals, before they held off rival Florida Gulf Coast to finally punch its ticket to the Big Dance on Sunday. Should make for a fun game in the NCAA tournament, right?
Big wins, bad losses: Beat Ole Miss in Oxford by three on Dec. 22 and won in double overtime against Seton Hall. Hung with Texas on opening night before eventually dropping a close one. Mercer split with Florida Gulf Coast before Sunday’s championship win.
How’d they get here?: Breezed past Jacksonville in the conference quarterfinals before barely getting by USC Upstate, 78-75 in double overtime in the semis. The Bears held the Eagles to 17 first half points, limiting them to only five field goals.
Outlook: Mercer has been a good team for several seasons. The Bears are a tough team with a senior-heavy lineup and will can give anyone, regardless of seed, a scare in the NCAA tournament.
How do I know you?: Mercer was actually the Atlantic Sun regular season champion last season before Florida Gulf Coast snagged the automatic bid. And we all remember how that turned out for the Eagles.