Three teams tied for the Southern Conference regular season title, but UNC Greensboro claimed the top overall seed heading into this weekend’s Southern Conference Tournament, by virtue of its season sweep of the East Tennessee State Buccaneers.
The Spartans defeated ETSU, 72-66, on the final day of the regular season to force a three-way tie atop the standings, as UNCG, Furman, and ETSU all finished with 14-4 league marks. The Spartans will open the tournament at high noon on Saturday, facing the winner of the No. 8 Western Carolina vs. No. 9 The Citadel. The Bulldogs and Catamounts will be the opening game of the tournament, Friday evening at 5 p.m.
Furman earned the No. 2 seed as a result of its season split with UNCG. The Paladins will open the tournament on Saturday evening, with a 6 p.m. contest against the winner of the No. 7 Samford vs. No. 10 VMI matchup slated for 7:30 on Friday night.
Both No.4 Chattanooga and No. 5 Wofford were already locked into the 2:30 p.m clash on Saturday prior to the final day of regular season play Monday night. Chattanooga is the defending Southern Conference Tournament champion, but lost seven of its final 11 games, and will enter the tournament as the No. 4 seed.
The Mocs have experienced some internal turmoil over the past couple of games, and in their regular season finale at The Citadel, which they lost, 85-76, Chattanooga played without suspended leading scorer Tre’ McLean and injured point guard Greg Pryor. McLean was the Preseason SoCon Player of the Year, while Pryor was the 2016 Southern Conference Tournament Most Valuable Player. The Mocs won both regular-season meetings over the Terriers.
The final quarterfinal matchup will pit No. 3 ETSU against No. 6 Mercer. Mercer finds itself with a bye after participating in the first round last season as the No. 7 seed. ETSU won both regular-season contests between the two.
The full bracket can be found here.