The Big South Tournament is already under way with the quarterfinals starting on Mar. 2. Campbell and Charleston Southern already won in the first round, leaving eight teams left.
This tournament lets the higher seeded teams host the lower seeded teams, so Winthrop is in the driver’s seat and will host every game they play. They do have some stiff competition in UNC Asheville for the Big South Tournament Championship. Will one of these teams win or will there be an upset?
Big South Champs: UNC Asheville
The Bulldogs split the season series with Winthrop and will likely have to beat the Eagles to win the tournament. They beat Winthrop at home, but only lost by three on the road. UNC Asheville is in a good position to take another game against Winthrop to the wire, but this time will prevail.
UNC Asheville is hot going into their first match-up of the tournament against Campbell. The Bulldogs have won 10 of their last 11 games, including their win over Winthrop. They will need to keep this momentum going in this tournament and don’t show too many signs of slowing down.
Statistically, the bulldogs have an edge ranking in the top 100 in both points per game and points all
owed per game. Their ability to be solid on both sides of the ball will win them the 2017 Big South Tournament.
Tournament MVP: Ahmad Thomas
Thomas is on the Bulldogs, the predicted champions. MaCio Teague (his teammate) and Keon Johnson (Winthrop) will give him a run for his money, but Thomas will be the MVP of the tournament.
In the games against Winthrop, their biggest games for the past two months, Thomas scored 27 and 26 points. He has been a great scorer averaging 18 points per game. Thomas is an efficient scorer, shooting 54% from the floor and 48% from behind the arc. He did have a dud of a game against Campbell, but in the two games afterwards he averaged 28 points. He will keep the hot streak going starting in the quarterfinal.
He adds the ability to rebound the ball even though he is a guard. He averages 6.2 rebounds per game and will need to rebound well in order for UNC Asheville to win the tournament.
Thomas’ efficiency and rebounding will help him win MVP.