ELON AT DAVIDSON, 7:00 PM Eastern, Local TV only
Tonight is one of those nights…an evening where the SCGD simply has no idea which way to go with quite a few strong contenders for our game of the day. Belmont and Eastern Kentucky have a huge battle tonight in the Ohio Valley, while Denver and surprising IPFW are battling in the Summit League. There are also a number of stories swirling around the Oral Roberts at Abilene Christian game. The ORU stories will be left for David Griggs’ column later today and will be featured in our next Under the Radar podcast, so for tonight’s game we will head to the battle among preseason favorites in the SoCon, as the Elon Phoenix take on the Davidson Wildcats.
Elon enters tonight’s game at 9-8 overall and 2-1 in conference. Their KenPom rating of 156, RPI of 161 and BPI of 186 are all tops in the conference, though only by a narrow margin over Davidson. The Phoenix’s best wins on the season have been over Columbia and Georgia State, neither of which is anything of particular note. In fact, at this point in time it may take a complete dominance of the SoCon regular season and conference tournament for Elon to avoid a 16 seed in the NCAA tournament. Simply winning the automatic bid without running through the league could put them in Dayton playing a First Four matchup.
Davidson was the preseason favorite in the SoCon this year, and proceeded to do absolutely nothing during the non-conference portion of their schedule to justify that. The best game the Wildcats played so far this season was against the North Carolina Tar Heels, to whom them lost in overtime. Of course, the Tar Heels have shown the ability to beat or lose to anyone in the country on any given night. While Davidson is off to a 3-0 start in league play (and 7-10 overall), tonight is their first true challenge. Should they win this game, they will be in good position for the rest of the season, especially given that the unbalanced league schedule results in the Wildcats only playing Chattanooga and Western Carolina (the only two other apparent contenders this season) once each.