Last season the Southern Conference nearly received multiple bids to the NCAA Tournament. Could the two-bid SoCon Basketball campaign come to fruition in 2020?
In 2019 “two bid SoCon” was the mantra of a lot of college hoop enthusiasts and for good reason, SoCon Basketball was in the midst of its best season ever and had four teams, Wofford, UNC-Greensboro, Furman, and East Tennessee State that had legitimate cases for an at-large bid. But, in the end, only the tournament champion Wofford made the tournament, beating Seton Hall and nearly knocking off Kentucky, while UNCG was the first team left out of the field.
Fast forward about 12 months and the “two bid SoCon” cry is once again gaining steam although a year has passed, the standings look quite similar, with the same four teams in the top four spots, although the order has changed. Through the games on Feb. 9, the East Tennessee State Buccaneers and Paladins of Furman find themselves deadlocked at the top of the conference with an 11-2 record, while the UNC-Greensboro Spartans find themselves just a game back at 10-3. Defending champ Wofford has fallen three games back at 8-5 after losing to Mercer in their last game, with just six conference games remaining.
Last season left the conference and its fans undoubtedly disappointed they didn’t receive two bids, but much like last year hopes are being raised prior to Valentine’s Day, perhaps in 2020 the powers in the Southern Conference will be able to do enough to garner two NCAA Tournament bids for the perennial one-bid league. Let’s take a look at what the top four teams have done so far, and what they may need to do going forward to grab an at-large bid.