Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament 2013 schedule and bracket: Host Mercer faces USC-Upstate in semifinals


By Saturday afternoon, the Atlantic Sun will have awarded a bid in a conference where three of four teams remaining have never made the NCAA Tournament. Can overwhelming favorites Mercer hold on out of a one-bid league?

5:30 p.m. ET, No. 1 Mercer (22-10, 14-4, Kenpom ranking 120) vs. No. 5 USC-Upstate (16-16, 9-9, Kenpom ranking 209), ESPN3

Can Upstate pull off the upset? Mercer has a few obvious advantages here. For starters, as Craig Powers' wrote in his Atlantic Sun Tournament preview, they're the big favorites in the tournament after going nine of their last ten games heading into the conference tournament. Add on the fact that they're better rested: Mercer's first round game was Wednesday, an 82-48 blowout of Lipscomb behind 12 points and 12 assists from Langston Hall in a game the starters got to rest early, while USC-Upstate had to play in the nightcap Thursday against Jacksonville. And it's a home game for the Bears, as they're hosting the tournament at Hawkins Arena in Macon, Georgia. They won both regular season matchups by double-digits. Although the Bears are sweeping through the A-Sun, they haven't been dancing since 1985.

8 p.m. ET, No. 2 Florida-Gulf Coast (22-10, 13-5, Kenpom 141) vs. No. 3 Stetson (15-15, 11-7, Kenpom ranking 232), ESPN3

The quarterfinals went as planned for the second and third seeds, neither of whom has ever been to the NCAA Tournament: Stetson came back from three down against ETSU to win by 21 Thursday, while FGCU got a double-digit win against North Florida on Wednesday. The two games between these two went in very different directions, as FGCU had all five starters in double digits in a 96-65 rout at home, but a career-high 27 from Joel Naburgs gave the Hatters the win at their house.

An updated bracket can be found here.

Friday, March 7, semifinals

5:30 p.m., No. 1 Mercer vs. No. 5 USC-Upstate, ESPN3

8 p.m., No. 2 FGCU vs. No. 3 Stetson, ESPN3

Saturday, March 8, championship

Noon: Semifinal winners

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