Small Conference Game of the Day – January 17

RIVER CITY RUMBLE, Jacksonville at North Florida, 7:00 PM Eastern, CSS/espn3

Jacksonville, Florida is the site tonight of a fast developing rivalry series between A-Sun crosstown rivals known as the River City Rumble.  The North Florida Ospreys and Jacksonville Dolphins meet tonight for the first of two times this season, and these two fairly evenly matched teams should put on a great show.

Jacksonville is 4-2 in the A-Sun and 8-9 overall, with an RPI of 290 and a KenPom of 301.  They are led by Jarvis Haywood and Keith McDougald who are averaging 16.5 and 12.5 points per game respectively.  McDougald dropped 27 points against Florida Gulf Coast last week and as such is the reigning A-Sun Player of the Week.

UNF currently sits at 4-2 in conference and 10-9 overall, with a 189 RPI and 248 KenPom.  They are led by freshman Dallas Moore (12.4 ppg) and senior Travis Wallace (11.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg).  The Ospreys are coming off a home win over Stetson, and have already scored a home victory over conference favorite Mercer.  But even more than conference standings, tonight’s game is about the rivalry.

This is the 20th all-time meeting between Jacksonville and UNF, with the Dolphins holding a 15-4 series lead.  North Florida head coach Matthew Driscoll at one point refused to acknowledge this series as a rivalry, as the Dolphins won every game in it from 2007 through the end of the 2011 regular season.  That changed when the Ospreys defeated the Dolphins in the 2011 A-Sun tournament and followed that up with a sweep of the regular season meetings in 2012.  Jacksonville did bounce back last season, winning both games.  With 7 of the last 8 games between these teams having been decided by single digits, this has all the markings of another fun and exciting game in the River City.

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