Chattanooga has been a cut above the rest of the Southern Conference this year, and that makes Matt McCall's Mocs the clear front-runner in this week's SoCon Tournament in North Carolina. The Mocs enter ranked 110th in Ken Pomeroy's national composite, a full 46 spots ahead of the next-best team in their conference. They've beaten Dayton, Georgia and Illinois this season and could make a little noise as March rolls on.
That's not to say anything is guaranteed in the league tournament. The Mocs are the top seed, but No. 3 Furman beat them by 15 points earlier in the season (as part of a series split), and they've looked vulnerable at other points – such as when No. 6 UNC Greensboro beat them by 15 points in their own building on Feb. 20. Chattanooga is the definite favorite here, but it's also definitely beatable.
The league has a couple of legitimately bad teams. The bottom three placers in the standings – Samford, VMI and The Citadel – went a combined 11-43 in conference play. They're all likely to be done quickly.
It's fairly standard. The entire 10-team league makes the tournament, with the bottom four teams meeting in first-round games for the right to face the more rested top two seeds in the quarterfinals. Seeds three through six already have their quarterfinal matchups sat in stone. All games are played at U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, N.C.
2. East Tennessee State (ETSU)
5. Western Carolina
6. UNC Greensboro
10. The Citadel
You can see the whole bracket here.
Schedule and Results (all times Eastern)
Friday, March 4 (First Round)
Game 1: No. 8 Samford 92, No. 9 VMI 85 (OT)
Game 2: No. 7 Mercer 71, No. 10 The Citadel 69
Saturday, March 5 (Quarterfinals)
Game 3: No. 1 Chattanooga 59, No. 8 Samford 54
Game 4: No. 5 Western Carolina 88, No. 4 Wofford 83
Game 5: No. 2 ETSU 81, No. 7 Mercer 65
Game 6: No. 3 Furman 80, No. 6 UNC Greensboro 64
Sunday, March 6 (Semifinals)
Game 7: No. 1 Chattanooga 73, No. 5 Western Carolina 69
Game 8: No. 2 ETSU 81, No. 3 Furman 70
Monday, March 7 (Championship)
Game 9: No. 1 Chattanooga 73, No. 2 ETSU 67