Favorite(s)-Mercer 21-10 14-4
The Mercer Bears have clinched the top seed in the tournament. The defending CIT champions are looking to take the mantle of the A-Sun’s team to beat after Belmont left for the Ohio Valley. The Bears had early-season wins at Florida State and Alabama and have finished by winning 10 of 11.
Contender(s)-Florida Gulf Coast 21-10 13-5, Stetson 14-15 11-7
The Eagles knocked off Miami in their second game of the season and since struggling with the transistion to Division 1 the Eagles began a turnaround last season. They made a run to the A-Sun final despite a below .500 record and this year carried that momentum to their first winning and 21-win season.
The Hatters began the season 3-8 before surprising some in conference play by finishing 3rd. Despite the high finish Stetson has just 1 win over the two teams in front of them (a home win over Florida Gulf Coast) and some inexplicable losses, swept by North Florida and a loss to East Tennessee State.
Team likely to pull upset-South Carolina-Upstate 15-16 9-9
The Spartans have underachieved a little bit this season, finishing 5th. So why look out for USC-Upstate? They were in most of their losses (only 3 double digit losses) and they boast the reigning conference player of the year in Torrey Craig who is capable of willing his team to victory.
3 Key Players-Torrey Craig-South Carolina-Upstate, Adam Pegg-Stetson, Sherwood Brown-Florida Gulf Coast
Craig is the league’s reining player of the year as a sophomore and as a junior his 17.2 points and seven rebounds a game, makes him and the Spartans a dangerous floater in Macon.
Pegg is Stetson’s senior center and after transferring from Delaware in 2010 he has made his presence known. This year he is averaging 15.6 points and 6.2 rebounds and for Stetson to get over the hump Pegg is going to have to be even more of an offensive force.
If Florida Gulf Coast is to claim its first NCAA Tournament bid, senior guard Sherwood Brown will have to continue be the force he has been to end the year, averaging 18.3 and 7.4 rebounds since Jan. 12.
2013 ATLANTIC SUN TOURNAMENT
March 6-9 Macon, GA
#1 Mercer vs. #8 Lipscomb
#2 Florida Gulf Coast vs. #7 North Florida
#4 Jacksonville vs. #5 South Carolina-Upstate
#3 Stetson vs. #6 East Tennessee State