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UNC Greensboro Gets Revenge vs East Tennessee State to Win SoCon

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The Southern Conference was incredibly fun all year and with the Southern Conference Tournament expected to be fairly wide open, UNC Greensboro held serve as the one seed. More importantly, it got revenge over East Tennessee State from last year’s title game as UNCG won 62-47 tonight in Asheville.

This is a huge win for Wes Miller – the coach of the year in the conference. Miller, the former UNC player, is  going to be a hot name in coaching searches and that will only intensify with a trip to the NCAA Tournament. Miller is just 35 years old and went from winning 20 games combined in his first two years to win 25 each of the last two.

This game wasn’t pretty, but it was entertaining. It was physical, which is no surprise, as both teams live on the defensive side of the ball. Ultimately though it was UNCG hitting shots in the second half. The game was tied at 25 at halftime and ETSU actually looked like the better team the first half. Then the second half started and ETSU literally couldn’t make a shot for 4 minutes.

Even though Francis Alonso, UNCG’s best player, went just 2-for-11 from the field, the Spartans got enough help elsewhere to win the conference. I was pretty impressed by James Dickey Jr., who contributed with 9 points but also had 8 rebounds and 5 blocks. He had a great feel for the game, making interior passes and then really set a tone on the defensive side of the ball.

UNCG will be a tough out in the NCAA Tournament. They should be somewhere in the 12 or 13 seed line as they are currently 91st on KenPom with a win over NC State in the nonconference. They will try to get a bunch of threes up, ranking 27th in the country in 3PA/FGA, but this is a defensive team first and foremost.

7 teams in, 61 to go.

NCAA Tournament bids handed out: 

UNC Greensboro (SoCon) – projected 12/13 seed
Iona (MAAC) – projected 15/16 seed
Michigan (Big 10) – projected 3/4 seed
Murray State (OVC) – projected 13 seed
Loyola (MVC) – projected 12 seed
Radford (Big South) – projected 15/16 seed
Lipscomb (A-Sun) – projected 15/16 seed

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