It's that time again! It's time for every team to dream of what their seed will be if they wind up in the NCAA Tournament. All it takes is winning three (or four) games in Asheville and the invitation is yours.
Use this as your guide to where your team is likely to be seeded if they wind up the SoCon Tournament champions. Keep in mind that there is obviously a wide range that teams can finish based on what other teams around them do. If the last place team in every conference tournament winds up winning their automatic bid, that will have an impact. If every first place in every conference tournament winds up getting the automatic bid, that too will have an impact.
Also, keep in mind that the SoCon conference RPI is likely to finish between 18 and 20. It's really close. That will aid the conference some in spots. Finally, all records in here are against D1 competition.
Let's go through each school alphabetically and take a stab at where every team would be seeded.
Chattanooga- The Mocs are not playing particularly well at this point, but they are still would be 27-5 and around the Top 50 in the RPI if they win the tournament. That could put them all sorts of places. If ETSU was their championship game opponent, the Mocs would likely have five Top 100 wins (over Dayton, Georgia, and ETSU three times). There is an outside chance of an 11 seed from that spot. There's also a worst case scenario of the Mocs getting as low as a 14 seed. I believe the Mocs would settle in nicely at a 12 seed at the end of the day.
ETSU- The Bucs would be 22-10, and their RPI is currently inside the Top 100. If they played and beat Chattanooga in the championship game, that would be a win over another Top 100 team and help their cause. They finished second in the conference in the regular season. Their win at Georgia Tech is currently their best win. The odds are that this resume would land them right around a 14 seed. There is a chance it could drop to a 15 seed, but the odds are this team would get a 14 seed with a win in the SoCon Tournament.
Furman- The Paladins are the three seed heading to Asheville, but are on a three game losing streak. They would be 18-14 with a championship. They have already beaten Chattanooga, and if their route to the title includes wins over ETSU and Chattanooga, that will serve to aid their seed. My gut feeling is that this team would avoid being in Dayton for the First Four, but that they would be a 16 seed. There would be an outside chance of a 15 seed if everything broke right, but more than likely they would be a 16 seed not in Dayton.
Mercer- Now this is interesting. This team has lost seven in a row to fall to 8-10 in conference play and they are dealing with a ton of turmoil. However, if they were to get hot and win four games in four days, this team would be 20-13 and have beaten Arkansas, ETSU and possibly Chattanooga (if the Mocs were to get there) on their way to four wins in four days. That is one complicated resume. Maybe the most complicated I've ever seen as I've tried to look at this for SoCon teams over the last four or five years. I think this team could get a 15 seed with that resume, but probably winds up a 16 seed. It depends on how the committee feels. Do they reward Mercer and Bob Hoffman for previous victory over Duke? It's also unusual for a 16 seed to have a win over an SEC team like Arkansas. I think they could earn a 15 seed. Then again, it would be remarkable for a team with seven straight losses to start winning four in a row now. So this interesting case is unlikely to be tested with the committee.
Samford- Here's another strange case. The Bulldogs won at Nebraska earlier this year. But they have been unable to win close games in conference games. They are on their way to a 15-18 mark if they win the SoCon title. I would be shocked if they turned into anything except for a team for the First Four in Dayton with their losing record. However, their win over Nebraska could provide a way for them to sneak up to a 16 seed.
The Citadel- The Bulldogs would almost certainly be playing in Dayton. They would be 11-21 if they won the SoCon title. They are trying to become the second straight SoCon ten seed to advance to the championship game. Can they get the championship Furman could not a year ago? It seems pretty unlikely. However, if they did, they would be in the First Four in Dayton. Their style could present problems in the tournament and would make them a team no one would want to play in Dayton, but that is where they would wind up.
UNCG- At 14-17, the Spartans would wind up in Dayton for the First Four. This team has no quality out of conference wins and a below .500 record. That is the recipe for the First Four, even if they will have won eight games in a row to get there. This team is dangerous and no one would want to play them in Dayton because of how hot they are, but they are not going to get out of the First Four.
VMI- The Keydets would be 10-20 against D1 competition if they happened to win the SoCon Tournament. VMI has been playing much better lately. But they are still ranked below 300 in the RPI at the moment. They would wind up playing in Dayton in the First Four if they happened to win the SoCon Tournament.
Western Carolina- The Catamounts would have won 10 of 11 to get the SoCon Championship. However, they would still be 15-16 overall. Again, like UNCG, there are no quality out of conference wins to speak of. They would be below .500 against D1 competition. That's a team heading to the First Four in Dayton. They are red hot, and no one would want to see them in Dayton, but that doesn't really change the fact that they will wind up there.
Wofford- Here's a really interesting case. The Terriers would be 16-16 overall if they made it to the NCAA Tournament. They have no quality out of conference wins. However, they have been in the tournament four times in the last six years and, while they have never won, all that tournament experience and the close calls in the Big Dance make Wofford a team that someone will not want to face. They could be in Dayton, but I have a feeling that the committee would reward them and make them a 16 seed without playing in Dayton.