With Alabama vs. Clemson college football national champion game tonight, Big Monday has little to do with basketball except for looking at the betting odds from a few more obscure contests.
The best of the bunch is a matchup from the Southern Conference, with Chattanooga visiting Wofford. The Moccasins came into the season as the favorite to win the league, with the Terriers the defending SoCon champions, coming off the best year in school history at 28-7 and being conference champions.
This leads us to an important conference clash, which is the first of two during the regular season.
The Mocs are 13-3 (5-6 ATS) and have excellent road victories as underdogs at Georgia, Illinois and Dayton. The first two included projected preseason SoCon Player of the Year candidate Casey Jones. The senior guard as expected was leading Chattanooga in scoring, rebounds and assists, but hurt his ankle in practice right before the Dayton game and has not returned, missing the past eight contests.
This has shifted the burden to other players, with point guard Greg Pryor taking a greater role and he’s now a double digit scorer at 10.6 points a game and handing out 3.6 assists. Even without Jones presently, Chattanooga is a team based on balance , with six other players averaging at least eight points a game.
Look for the Mocs to be hungry and focused off a brutal 70-55 loss at Furman Saturday, in which they committed 20 turnovers and allowed the Paladins to connect on 50 percent of their shot attempts.
Wofford Doing Great in Conference Action
Coming off super season, Wofford began the new year without leading scorer Krl Cochran and leading rebounder Lee Skinner (both graduates) and probably took on too ambitious an early season slate. The Terriers went to Missouri, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Vanderbilt and Harvard and were 0-6 (1-5 ATS), leading to dismal 3-9 beginning of the season.
Maybe it toughened them up or they have just faced weaker conference competitors, but Wofford is in first place again at 3-0 (2-0-1 ATS). The last was improbable at home two days ago versus Samford. The Terriers were down 64-55 with under three minutes to play when top scorer Spencer Collins (14 PPG) went off for 12 points in final 132 seconds and lead a 14-0 blitz to finish the game and they won 69-64 as 4.5-point favorites.