For all of today’s great action, check out David Grigg’s Highlighted games here: http://hoopshd.com/2014/02/01/highlighted-games-for-saturday-feb-1st/
COASTAL CAROLINA AT CAMPBELL, 11:00 AM Eastern, ESPNU
The SCGD checks in with an early morning start today as the two division leaders in the Big South go head-to-head in their only regular season meeting this year. Coastal Carolina checks in today at 12-9 overall and 5-2 in conference, good enough for a one game lead over Winthrop, UNC-Asheville and Gardner-Webb in the South Division. Charleston Southern is only 2 games back as well, leaving 5 teams clearly in contention for the division title and one of the two #1 seeds in the conference tournament (the Big south uses the old SEC format with teams seeded 1-6 by their division (N1-N6 and S1-S6)). The Chanticleers do host the league tournament this season, so if they are able to win the top seed, they will be a strong favorite to at least make it to the conference championship game
Today’s host team, Campbell, has snuck up to take a half game lead in the North Division with an overall record of 11-11 and 5-2 in league play. VMI is right behind them at 5-3 following a win over Presbyterian Friday night. Radford and High Point are a full game back, while Liberty is still in the mix as well at 3-4. In short, 10 of the 12 teams in the Big South are within 2 games of first place in their divisions, making this arguably the conference with the most parity in the nation.
Perhaps the parity of the Big South is best seen in the last few bracket projections. Over the last 4 brackets yours truly has produced, the predicted winner of the Big South has moved from Radford to UNC-Asheville to Winthrop and now to Coastal Carolina. A win by Campbell today could put the Fightin’ Camels in line for the next bracket. Parity does have its cost, however. At the moment, the RPI, BPI and KenPom ratings for all 12 Big south members are sub-200. The champion of this conference appears to already be a lock for a First Four game in Dayton…and may be headed for the #68 spot on the true seed list, even below the SWAC champion. All that having been said, however, the Big South does produce exciting competitive games and today’s SCGD should be one of those.