Mocs Get Rival ETSU Next Saturday to Open SoCon Tournament
(soconsports.com) SPARTANBURG, S.C. – UNC Greensboro downed defending Southern Conference champion ETSU on the road Saturday and waited out a thrilling finish to the Furman at Wofford contest to claim the regular-season league title and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Ingles Southern Conference Men’s Basketball Championship presented by General Shale at Harrah’s Cherokee Center Asheville in Asheville, North Carolina.
The tournament begins Friday, March 5, with a pair of first-round games. Four quarterfinal games follow on Saturday, with the semifinals on Sunday and the title game on Monday at 7 p.m. The semifinals will air national television for the first time, on ESPNU, while the championship game will air live on ESPN. The other six games will air on ESPN+, with Saturday’s quarterfinals also appearing on select Nexstar affiliates.
UNCG had an anxious wait to learn its postseason fate. After falling out of first place Wednesday with an 81-80 loss to Western Carolina, the Spartans moved back to the top of the standings with their 85-74, overtime win at ETSU on Saturday, powered by Isaiah Miller’s career-high 32 points. UNCG needed a Wofford win to prevent Furman from reclaiming the top spot, and the Paladins and Terriers provided another classic installment in their rivalry, with Wofford getting a go-ahead put-back from freshman Morgan Safford with 7 seconds left to claim a 74-73 win, denying Furman and delivering the title to UNCG, its fifth overall and first since 2017-18.
Saturday’s second game pits No. 4 seed Chattanooga (18-7, 9-7) against No. 5 seed ETSU (12-11, 8-7), the defending tournament champion, at 2:30 p.m. The Mocs took the two meetings between the squads this season by a combined four points, winning 67-65 on the road on Feb. 6 and completing the sweep with a 53-51 home win on Feb. 15. The teams have met in the SoCon tournament 16 teams, splitting the meetings, and will be meeting in the quarterfinals for the third time in four seasons.
2021 Ingles Southern Conference Men’s Basketball Championship presented by General Shale schedule
Friday, March 5 (ESPN+)
Game 1 – (8) The Citadel vs. (9) Western Carolina, 5:30 p.m.
Game 2 – (7) Mercer vs. (10) Samford, 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 6 (ESPN+/Nexstar)
Game 3 – (1) UNCG vs. Game 1 winner, 12 p.m.
Game 4 – (4) Chattanooga vs. (5) ETSU, 2:30 p.m.
Game 5 – (2) Wofford vs. Game 2 winner, 5:30 p.m.
Game 6 – (3) Furman vs. (6) VMI, 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 7 (ESPNU)
Game 7 – Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 5 p.m.
Game 8 – Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 7:30 p.m.
Monday, March 8 (ESPN)
Championship game, 7 p.m.