For a preview of all of today’s key action, please check out David Griggs’ Highlighted games post by clicking here.
South Carolina-Upstate at Mercer, 4:30 PM Eastern (no TV)
The SCGD heads to Hawkins Arena in Macon, Georgia this afternoon for the first of two meetings this season between the top contenders in the Atlantic Sun. Mercer is off to a solid 10-5 start, though 1-1 in conference after an upset loss Wednesday night at North Florida. The Bears have had back-to-back disappointing seasons, despite solid regular season records and the conference tournament on their home court. Both seasons ended in losses to Florida Gulf Coast (in the semifinals two years ago and in the championship game last season). This season they hope to finally get over the hump and return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1985. With a solid road win at Ole Miss already under their belts, the Bears should be right there contending all season.
The non-conference season has had one team emerge as the clear contender to Mercer, the South Carolina-Upstate Spartans. Upstate has already scored road wins over Virginia Tech and South Carolina. While neither of those teams is expected to be in postseason play this season, a road win over a power conference team is never easy for a team from a league like the A-Sun. Although Mercer is already playing their third conference game of the year, today’s contest is Upstate’s first A-Sun game. The two teams will meet again in South Carolina on February 1. However, the winner of today’s contest will have the early edge as we move into the conference season.