Tuesday, March 05, 2013
MACON, Ga. - Top-seeded Mercer welcomes seven teams to Hawkins Arena for the 2013 General Shale Atlantic Sun Men's Basketball Championship with quarterfinal action starting on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.
No. 2 seed FGCU (21-10; 13-5) begins play on the men's side with a contest against No. 7 North Florida (13-18; 8-10) at 2:30 p.m., while the Bears (21-10; 14-4) complete the day vs. No. 8 Lipscomb (12-17; 7-11) at 8:30 p.m.
Day two features No. 3 Stetson (14-15; 11-7) and No. 6 ETSU (10-12; 8-10) at 2:30, while No. 4 Jacksonville (14-17; 9-9) and No. 5 USC Upstate (15-16; 9-9) conclude the quarterfinals on Thursday. All four quarterfinal contests can be viewed on ESPN3, the WatchESPN App or ASun.TV
A-Sun Men's Basketball Weekly Notes (#ASunMBB):
- Mercer hosts the 2013 General Shale Atlantic Sun Men’s Basketball Championship for the fourth-straight season; the longest run in conference history. The last time the host team won the A-sun Championship title was 2001 (Georgia State).
- The Bears also own the top seed in the conference tournament. The No. 1 seed has won the last two A-Sun titles and three of the last five.
- FGCU earned the No. 2 seed; the highest in program history. If FGCU advances to the tournament final, it would become the first runner-up from the previous championship to return to the title game since Jacksonville in 2009.
- The Eagles’ 21 wins is a program Division I record; surpassing last year’s win total of 15. FGCU’s win improvement of six from the previous season is tied for the 40th-best in conference history.
- Stetson earned the three seed in the championship after missing the past three tournaments. The Hatters own the top-scoring duo in conference; Adam Pegg (15.6) and Chris Perez (15.3), as well as the top-scoring trio; Pegg, Perez and Graham (11.7).
- No. 4 seed Jacksonville is appearing in its seventh-straight A-Sun Championship, which ranks fourth among active teams. The Dolphins trail Mercer (11), Lipscomb (9) and ETSU (8).
- Fifth-seeded USC Upstate enters is second-ever A-Sun Championship in its second year of eligibility. Last year, the Spartans fell to fellow first-year postseason eligible team, FGCU, in the quarterfinals.
- ETSU enters as the six seed in the 2013 A-Sun Championship. The previous three title games have featured a six seed as FGCU (2012), North Florida (2011) and Mercer (2010) all earned runner-up titles.
- The Buccaneers have reached the semifinals of the A-Sun Championship in six-straight seasons - longest for any active conference team.
- North Florida claimed the seven seed in the conference tournament. It marks the Ospreys fourth-straight appearance in the A-Sun Championship. UNF’s Parker Smith enters the tournament with 110 made three-pointers, which is an A-Sun single-season record. The previous mark was 107.
- Lipscomb capped the tournament field as the eight seed. The Bisons have four players that average at least 11 points per game; Deonte Alexander (13.6), Stephen Hurt (11.8), Malcolm Smith (11.5) and Martin Smith (11.3). LU is the only team in the A-Sun that can claim four scorers with 11+ PPG.
- Mercer has won its last 15 contests at Hawkins Arena, which is tied with Duke for the 10th longest in the NCAA. The Bears posted a 13-0 record at home this season and outscored their opponents by an average of 19.9 PPG and conference opponents by 15.4 points per contests.
- USC Upstate’s Torrey Craig leads the A-Sun in scoring at 17.2 PPG, while he also finished the 2012 season as the league’s leading scorer. If Craig finishes the year as the top scorer, he would be the second player in conference history to lead the league in scoring in back-to-back seasons. Centenary’s Willie Jackson was tops in the league for three-straight seasons; 1981-84.
- In the last three championships, at least one better seed has been upset in the quarterfinals. Last year, No. 6 FGCU upset No. 3 USC Upstate, while in 2011 #5 Mercer and #6 North Florida both posted wins in the quarterfinals. The 2010 A-Sun Championships saw three of the top-four seeds fall in the opening round with only No. 2 Jacksonville advancing to the semifinals, where they fell to No. 6 Mercer.
Follow the Atlantic Sun on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.