North Carolina-Greensboro at Davidson (Southern)Belk Arena - Davidson, NC7:00 PM EST
It was an instant classic, with all the necessary ingredients. It had two great performances by two great players, a come-from-behind surge and a thrilling finish. Last Wednesday's regionally-televised SoCon battle between Davidson and UNCG was one of the games we'll remember for years, with a career high 41 points by Wildcat star Stephen Curry
, a 27-and-12 double-doubling showcase for UNCG standout (and former MMBOW and interview subject
) Kyle Hines
. Hines' effort, though, was in a losing cause, as Davidson erased a 20-point first-half deficit to win 83-78
, keeping its perfect SoCon season intact.
Tonight is Round 2 at Davidson, just six days later. The Wildcats will put their 15-game win streak and unblemished 17-0 league record on the line again, although they've already clinched the regular season title and the league tourney No. 1 seed with three games to go. Don't think that they'll take it easy, though -- this game is on ESPN2, with Selection Committee members watching, and there's still the sliver of a chance that this team could sneak in as an at-large team should they win out. Very unlikely, what with a 2-6 nonconference record and near-misses against UNC, Duke and N.C. State, but if losing close ones to ACC teams counted for anything, that entire conference would be admitted to the Dance.
Plus, memories are still relatively fresh in this series about the 2005 SoCon semifinal
that ruined Davidson's perfect 16-0 season and sent the Wildcats to the NIT instead. That 73-68 UNCG win was the last time the Spartans beat DC -- Hines was a role player on that team, scoring 10 points in the victory. But as a senior, he's developed into the best player in program history, with a 74-game streak of double-figure scoring and 43 double-doubles. Hines has collected school records in points (2,060) and rebounds (993), and with seven boards tonight, he'll become the 95th player in Division I history to join the 2000-1000 Club. It's a club much more exclusive than the "Mile High Club," and you could fit all those players on an Boeing 717
.Basketball State Preview/Box