Southern Conference tournament preview

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Stephen Curry isn’t walking through that door.

That doesn’t mean Davidson isn’t any good, however. The Wildcats dominated a relatively mediocre SoCon, winning the league by a full four games. And when I mean relatively mediocre, I mean that a grand total of three teams in the league finished above .500. In the Northern Division, there wasn’t a single team with a winning record on the season. Think about that. Not a single team. In league play, only one team finished with a winning record.

That one team, however, may be the best story of the season in college hoops. Well, at least the best story that no one is talking about.

UNC Greensboro fired their coach in the middle of the season. After Wes Miller — you know the name, he played for UNC’s 2005 title team — was hired as the interim coach, the Spartans continued to struggle, starting the season off 2-14. But after getting off the schneid against College of Charleston, the Spartans reeled off seven straight wins and 10 of the next 11. UNCG lost their last three heading into the postseason, but hey, you can’t win ’em all, right?

The Bracket

Where: Asheville, NC

When: March 2nd-March 5th

Final: March 5th, 9:00 p.m., ESPN2

Favorite: Davidson

There is a lot to like about this Davidson team, particularly offensively. They are led by Jake Cohen and De’Mon Brooks on their front line, but there are five players on the roster that average double figures. Can you say balance? I should mention that all give of those players are capable of knocking down a three. That balance is a big part of the reason that the Wildcats were able to knock off Kansas in Kansas City earlier this year. The Wildcats also won their first nine games in SoCon play, and while they struggled a bit late in the season, its tough not to see Davidson cruising to the at-large bid.

And if they lose?: Wofford

There was, at one point earlier in the year, a time when Wofford was running with the Wildcats atop the SoCon. But a three-game losing streak in the middle of the season cost them a shot at truly competing for the regular season title. The Terriers responded, however, by winning their last four league games and climbing into second place in the division. What second place means is that the Terriers, who really like to control the tempo of the game, won’t have to play Davidson until the title games. That’s big.

Sleepers: The College of Charleston. They are arguably the most talented team in the conference. They have a front line with enough size to at least hold their own in the paint. The best part? After a rough middle of the season, the Cougars have won seven of their last night games. Charleston also caught a break by finishing fourth in their division. It means that, instead of having to play Davidson in the semis should they advance that far, the Cougars won’t see them until the title game.

Studs:

Trevis Simpson, UNC-Greensboro: A high-scoring high-flyer. What more can you ask for? He averages 18.2 ppg and is always a threat to put someone of a poster.

Mike Groselle, Citadel: The Citadel didn’t have a great year, but it wasn’t Groselle’s fault. He ws the most productive big man in the SoCon.

Antwaine Wiggins and Andrew Lawrence, Charleston: It took a while, but Wiggins finally developed into a star, averaging 16.0 ppg and 6.5 rpg. Wiggins may not even be the best player on the Cougars; Lawrence is their engine, averaging 12.9 ppg and 5.6 apg.

Kevin Giltner and Brad Loesing, Wofford: Giltner and Loesing make Wofford go. Giltner is the pure scorer, averaging 15.3 ppg, but it is Loesing that is the best player, averaging 14.9 ppg and 5.5 apg.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.