As you know by now, the SoCon Monster Game of the Week gets picked by the person who covers the previous week's winner for Scanning the SoCon. That person can not choose a game their team is playing in.
Last week's game was Elon at Chattanooga, which means that I get to pick this week's Monster Game of the Week.
While Davidson's trip to Elon is clearly the one that represents the first match-up of the year between the teams that are going to be the top two seeds in the SoCon Tournament, and therefore a very interesting game, I did not choose that one. Why? Because those top two seeds have already been locked up, and they can not switch spots no matter the result of this game. No- the most important game is the one that helps determine the fourth and final bye spot. No team has won four game in four days to win the SoCon Tournament, so getting a bye is critical to your chances to winning the tournament and getting the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Appalachian State and Samford both control their own destiny on this front. If Appalachian State wins home games against Samford and Chattanooga, the Mountaineers will get the fourth bye. If Samford beats Appalachian State, they will get the fourth bye. If Samford loses, it opens the door, not only for Appalachian State, but for the winner of the Western Carolina-Chattanooga game in Cullowhee going on at the same time. The Thursday night game in Boone between Appalachian State and Samford could not be any bigger. That's why it is this weeks SoCon Monster Game of the Week.