Saturday, February 24, 2007

Charlotte Observer discusses NCAA at-large chances

3 area mid-majors make case for at-large bids

The Charlotte region is home to three of the country's most accomplished mid-major basketball programs -- Appalachian State, Davidson and Winthrop. All three have one thing in common: an uncertain chance at making the NCAA tournament unless they win their conference tournaments....

...each team can make a case for an at-large bid: Appalachian State's victories against Vanderbilt and Virginia, Davidson's near-total domination of the Southern Conference's regular season and Winthrop's willingness to go on the road to play major powers. Each has a respectable RPI (Ratings Percentage Index)....

Davidson (25-4, 16-1 Southern)

LOCATION: Davidson RPI: 58

COACH: Bob McKillop (307-217, 18 seasons )

SIGNIFICANT VICTORIES: Arizona State, 75-70; Ohio 83-74.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Freshman guard Stephen Curry, son of former Charlotte Hornets guard Dell Curry, leads the Southern Conference in scoring (20.8) and is a 41.4 percent 3-point shooter.

NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY: 8 appearances (1966, '68-70, '86, '98, 2002, '06), 5-9.

SKINNY: With the Southern Conference regular-season title clinched, the Wildcats are guaranteed a berth in the National Invitation Tournament. One thing they might have going for them in the conference tournament is revenge (they lost to Appalachian State, 81-74, in January).

DID YOU KNOW? McKillop recruits internationally. The Wildcats have players from France, Turkey, Canada and Nigeria.

NEXT GAME: Today, at The Citadel (1 p.m.)

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