GARDNER-WEBB at LIBERTY, 7:00 PM Eastern, Liberty Sports Network/espn3
Tonight’s college basketball schedule is on the light side with only 12 games. Ten of those games involve “power conference” teams (assuming we are still calling the Mountain West a power conference). Of the two remaining games, one is Wichita State’s home game against southern Illinois. That pretty much leaves one and only one option for the SCGD. Gardner-Webb at Liberty.
The Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs are part of the complete jumble of standings in the Big South conference. They are presently 6-4 in conference, tied for second place in the South Division one game behind Coastal Carolina and UNC-Asheville. The North Division is just as jumbled with four teams withing 2 games of first place, resulting in 8 of the 12 Big South members still in the battle for the two regular season division titles. GWU is 13-12 overall as they travel to Liberty tonight.
Liberty is one of the few teams inn the Big South that appears to be out of the title hunt. They are 3-7 in conference and 9-16 overall, fifth in the North Division. However, it was out of the North Division 5 seed spot that Liberty made a run last season and ended up winning the Big South tournament and advancing to the NCAA. Liberty has won 7 of its last 8 games against Gardner-Webb, including a Big South tournament semifinal victory last season. The Flames are 5-0 against GWU under current head coach Dale Layer. They are also currently on a four game losing streak, so something will have to give tonight. The one thing the Big South has shown us all season is that the games should be close and competitive…as this may be the conference with the most top to bottom parity of any in the country.