Wednesday, February 29, 2012

If They Win The Tournament....Headlines Edition

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The twelve SoCon teams are all close. Look at the conference this year. Outside of Davidson at the top, the other eleven teams are all very evenly matched. You may be able to make an arguement that The Citadel lags behind,but when they won two games in the final eight days of the regular season, even they made it into this conversation.

Want proof? In the final Scanning the SoCon, the team ranked number two in the Power Rankings was Wofford. The team that was ranked number eleven in the Power Rankings was Chattanooga. The Mocs beat Wofford in their only regular season meeting, 51-48.

So parity reigns in the conference. In other words, if Davidson does not win the tournament, no team outside of The Citadel would be a huge surprise to win the tournament. Should be a very interesting weekend.

What will the headlines be like if each team wins the SoCon Tournament? Here's what the headline will look like if each team wins on Monday night when you open up the paper on Tuesday morning.

Appalachian State- Butts, Carter Out of the Doghouse, Into The Penthouse! For so much of this year, Omar Carter and Isaac Butts have been in the doghouse. A suspension, benchings, not starting. It's been a rough year. If the Mountaineers win the SoCon Tournament, it will be because Butts and Carter play like two of the ten best players in the SoCon, like they are capable of doing.
Charleston- Cougars Healthy Just In Time! The injuries to Trent Wiedeman, Adejhi Baru, Andrew Lawrence, and Anthony Stitt have held this team back. Now, they are all back and ready to go. If this team wins four games in four days, it will be because the team is all finally healthy and back together.
Chattanooga- Bounces Go Mocs Way On Way To Title! The Mocs have lost seven games by three points or less this year. If they win this tournament, it will be because some of those little things that have gone awry to cost them in those games will go their way. It will take a lot of little things, but that's what it will take.
Citadel- Groselle, Bulldogs Go To First NCAA Tournament! Mike Groselle will have to completely dominate for the Bulldogs to be able to advance to the NCAA Tournament. They have never gone to the NCAA Tournament- one of just a handful of teams to have never been the tournament. That would be a major headline on Tuesday morning.
Davidson- Wildcats Hot From Downtown To Go Dancing! There will be several times during this tournament, I would expect, that Davidson will need to make some shots from three point range instead of relying on their inside game. Davidson can do that. They are good enough shooting from long range to pull it off. It's really only if they are cold that will be a problem. That's how they lose in the tournament.
Elon- Phoenix Rise From Their Own Ashes- Find Way To Tournament! Elon has been cold lately. They have been stumbling, after starting off like they might be one of the best teams in the SoCon. They won their way into the bye, but kind of backed into it with five losses in their last six games. If they win, the story will be that they finally found whatever spark had been missing in the last few weeks.
Furman- Paladins Defense Wins Championships! Furman has a pretty solid defensive team, and if the Paladins win the SoCon Tournament, they will do it because of their defense. They are not a great offensive team, but they are a solid defensive team. They will need to bring their defense every game to win the championship.

Georgia Southern- Finally! Eagles Show Maturity and Mental Toughness! The Eagles have traditionally struggled in the SoCon Tournament. In recent weeks, they have struggled to do what was necessary to wrap up the bye. If Georgia Southern wins, it will be because they have grown up a little bit during this week off, and show the maturity and mental toughness necessary to win big games.
Samford- Windler Shoots Bulldogs To The Dance! The Bulldogs best player is Drew Windler, and if he is hot shooting the ball, the Bulldogs will have chance to win this thing. Samford's offense, which requires so much patience to cover, could cause problems, but the big thing will be what Windler does.

UNC-Greensboro- Welcome to Springfield! Simpson leads Spartans to NCAA! In honor of the TV show, The Simpsons, sharing a name with the player who has to be the most dominant player in the tournament for Spartans to win, Trevis Simpson, there will be some cute headline about Springfield, the setting of The Simpsons. Yep- cute. Sounds like an ESPN headline to me. It's better than their headline about Jeremy Lin.

Western Carolina- Mutombo Shines as Catamounts Prevail! If the Catamounts are the SoCon Champs on Monday night, the feeling will be universally that Mutombo and his leadership took over the tournament. He may not dominate scoring, but his leadership will shine through and be the reason that the Catamounts survived.

Wofford- Back-To-Back-To-Back! Regardless of what any one player does, a Terriers win will be highlighted by the fact that the Terriers will have won the SoCon Tournament for the third straight year. My bet is that Karl Cochran will be the star if they pull it off, but Loesing and Giltner would be great, too. This is a very interesting team to watch.

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