The first day of the Atlantic Sun tournament featured the two top seeds in the conference. Mercer and Florida Gulf Coast had little trouble advancing Wednesday.
After going 14-4 in conference play this year, the Mercer Bears grabbed the top seed in the Atlantic Sun tournament. This seed has its obvious advantages, but in the A-Sun you also have the added comfort of playing at home and getting an extra day off between the quarterfinals and the semis if you advance.
The comforts of home obviously paid off for Mercer when they hosted Lipscomb in a quarterfinals match up Wednesday night. The Bears destroyed the Bison 82-48, which was the biggest margin of victory for Mercer in their 35 years in the conference.
The more amazing thing about the win is that it was a total team effort and there were no real stat stuffers for the Bears. Lanston Hall was the team's high scorer with 12 points and also added 10 assists.
On the other end of the bracket Florida Gulf Coast took on in-state rival North Florida. Despite being the heavy favorite, it took quite some time for FGCU to pull away from the Ospreys mainly due to Parker Smith. Smith dropped 29 points on the Eagles, in a game that was his last in the collegiate ranks.
Despite Smith's admirable performance, Florida Gulf Coast was able to pull away for a 73-63 and move to 8-0 versus teams from the state of Florida this year. Chase Fieler paced the Eagles with 22 points and 9 rebounds.
FGCU now awaits the winner of today's match up between the third seeded Stetson Hatters and the sixth seeded Buccaneers of East Tennessee State.