Charlotte (13-16) at Saint Joseph's (19-12) (ET)
GAME NOTES: The 12th-seeded Charlotte 49ers travel to Philadelphia to take on the fifth-seeded Saint Joseph's Hawks in the first round of the 2012 Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament, with the winner advancing to face St. Bonaventure in the quarterfinals in Atlantic City this Friday.
Charlotte has endured a rather disappointing season, going 13-16 overall with a 5-11 record in the A-10, sneaking into the tournament with the last seed. Things haven't been any better of late, as the team lost five of its last six games to close out the regular season. The 49ers haven't found much success in the A-10 Tournament over the years either, going just 2-5, with their last appearance coming in 2009.
After a few down seasons, Saint Joseph's returned to form in the A-10 this year, going 19-12 overall. Its 9-7 conference mark tied it with three other teams for fifth place, but a head-to-head tie-breaker gave SJU the No. 5 seed. The Hawks were running hot heading into the season finale at St. Bonaventure, having won six of eight, but they dropped a 98-93 decision to the Bonnies, thus losing out on a first-round bye.
Saint Joseph's leads the young series with Charlotte, 6-4, but the 49ers claimed a 57-52 win in the lone meeting this season, back on Jan. 7 in Philadelphia
Charlotte is one of just four teams in the A-10 to boast a negative scoring margin (-1.4) after finishing the regular season with a poor offense (67.1 ppg) and a lackluster defense (68.5 ppg). It hasn't fared well in other facets of the game either, boasting a sub par rebounding margin (-0.7) while holding on to a turnover margin just barely in the black (+0.28). The 49ers are led by junior standout Chris Braswell, who was named to the All-Atlantic 10 Third Team as just one of just three players to rank in the top 10 in both scoring (15.6 ppg) and rebounding (7.6 rpg). Javarris Barnett (12.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg), and DeMario Mayfield (11.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.6 apg) also bring solid contributions to the table, with Mayfield scoring in double figures in nine of the last 10 games.
Saint Joseph's was one of the more well-balanced teams in the conference this season, ranking second in field goal percentage (.470) and first in field goal percentage defense (.396), though at times it was hindered by far too many giveaways, ranking last in turnover margin (-2.42). The Hawks' ensemble cast was well represented when the league's postseason awards were announced. Langston Galloway was named to the All-Conference Second Team by putting up 15.9 ppg on 49.6 percent shooting from the floor while leading the league in three-pointers (84). Carl Jones (16.3 ppg, 3.2 apg) and Halil Kanacevic (8.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.6 bpg) were both appointed to the honorable mention squad. Ronald Roberts, Jr. scored 11.1 ppg and grabbed 6.0 rpg in claiming the Sixth Man of the Year award, while C.J. Aiken (11.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg) leads the league and ranks fourth in the nation in blocked shots with 3.7 per contest, which helped him earn the A-10's Defensive Player of the Year award.
If this game were being played at a neutral site like in some other conferences, Charlotte may have had a fighting chance. But at Hagan Arena in Philly, where Saint Joseph's has lost just three times in 15 tries this season, the Hawks should soar into the quarterfinals.
GAME NOTES: The 12th-seeded Charlotte 49ers travel to Philadelphia to take on the fifth-seeded Saint Joseph's Hawks in the first round of the 2012 Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament, with the winner advancing to face St. Bonaventure in the quarterfinals in Atlantic City this Friday.Fact Stats
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hagan Arena (4,200) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: Charlotte 7-7, SJU 12-3. Away Record: Charlotte 6-9, SJU 5-8. Neutral Record: Charlotte 0-0, SJU 2-1. Conference Record: Charlotte 5-11, SJU 9-7. Series Record: Saint Joseph's leads, 6-4.Game Date and Time
Tuesday, March 6, 7:00 p.m. (ET)Predicted Outcome
Saint Joseph's 76, Charlotte 67