SoCon Tournament: UNC Greensboro vs Wofford Prediction
UNC Greensboro vs Wofford Preview
The Wofford Terriers have not lost a Southern Conference game this season–one reason why they are heavily favored to punch their ticket to March Madness tonight. Their opponent however, has been here before–defending champion UNC Greensboro, has posted second-half comebacks to win consecutive games to reach the final for the third season in a row.
Top-seeded Wofford (28-4) has won a school-record 19 consecutive games after Sunday’s 81-72 semifinal victory against fourth-seeded East Tennessee State.
Fletcher Magee was 6-for-7 on 3-point attempts in the game as part of a 26-point performance.
Wofford made 10-for-18 shots from long-range in the semifinal game, and Magee said he’ll be pumped up to play in the tournament final.
“That’s the main goal when you come here, to win the league and go to the NCAA Tournament,” he said. “We lost in the semifinals twice in a row, so to finally get on that stage and get that great opportunity, to get to the promised land, we’ll be loaded up and excited.”
UNCG have been the comeback kids, doing so twice more in the tournament. The second-seeded Spartans defeated Furman 66-62 on Sunday in the second semifinal, ending the game on a 21-10 run.
Senior guard Francis Alonso scored 19 points in the game. That came after he poured in 31 points in the quarterfinals against Samford.
“This guy has done it over and over throughout his career,” coach Wes Miller said, saying Alonso has scored big “when it matters most in the SoCon Tournament. It says a lot about who he is.”
In the Samford game, Greensboro wiped out a 12-point halftime deficit. It needed to respond from a six-point hole across the final six minutes for the 77-70 decision.
Wofford beat Greensboro twice in the regular season, with a 72-43 rout in North Carolina and then using a big second half for a convincing 80-50 home victory in the rematch.
“Their will to compete against us in those two games was greater than our will,” Miller said. “I know this will be a big-time challenge, but I have a bunch of kids who love to compete, so we’re not going to back down from it.”
The Spartans paid attention to their side of the bracket this weekend.
“We don’t spend a lot of time talking about anything but the moment,” Miller said “We approached this week that we had one game.”
Greensboro is trying to become the tournament’s first repeat winner since Wofford won in 2014 and 2015. The Spartans have never won it in back-to-back seasons.
If the Spartans are going to pull off the improbable upset, it will be at the hands of their all-conference defenders. The past two Defensive Players of the Year in the Southern Conference play for the Spartans. Sophomore guard Isaiah Miller received the distinction this season, while junior center James Dickey was picked for it a year ago.
LINE: -7 Wofford
Dan’s Bet: -7 Wofford
Score Prediction: Wofford 78 UNCG 65
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