Big South Men's Basketball Tournament Preview - Quarterfinals

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The 2012 Advance Auto Parts Big South Men's Basketball Championship continues today, Wednesday, Feb. 29 with four Quarterfinal games at Kimmel Arena, home of No. 1 seed UNC Asheville.  All four games will be video streamed live on the Big South Network presented by State Farm.  The winners of each game will advance to Thursday's Semifinals at Kimmel.  A printable version of this preview is available in .pdf format.

For additional information on the Advance Auto Parts Men's Basketball Championship, click here.

#7 VMI KEYDETS (15-15) vs. #2 COASTAL CAROLINA (19-10), 12:00pm

SEEDINGS NOTES:  VMI is the No. 7 seed for the second time since joining the Big South.  The Keydets were the No. 7 seed in the 2004 Tournament, their first season in the League.  VMI is now 1-1 as the No. 7 seed following its First Round win over Radford Monday night ... Coastal Carolina is the No. 2 seed for the first time since 2006 and the third time overall.

TOURNAMENT RECORD:  The Keydets are now 6-6 all-time in the Big South Tournament following its First Round victory on Monday ... The Chanticleers are 15-21 all-time in the Big South Tournament, and their last tourney victory was in 2011, an 89-81 win over No. 4 VMI to reach the Championship game.

TOURNAMENT SERIES:  This is the fourth consecutive year Coastal Carolina will play VMI in the Big South Tournament, the third time in the Quarterfinal round.   The Chanticleers have won the last two postseason meetings with the Keydets, a Quarterfinal win in 2010 as the No. 1 seed, and last season as noted above.  Head coach CLIFF ELLIS is 2-1 against the Keydets in the Big South Tournament ... The Keydets' lone postseason victory against the Chanticleers was during the 2009 Quarterfinals when VMI was the No. 2 seed and Coastal was the No. 7 seed.  Head coach DUGGAR BAUCOM is 1-2 against the Chanticleers in the Big South Tournament.

PREVIOUS VMI-CCU TOURNAMENT MEETINGS
2009 - (2) VMI 96, (7) Coastal Carolina 76 (Quarterfinals)
2010 - (1) Coastal Carolina 82, (8) VMI 73 (Quarterfinals)
2011 - (1) Coastal Carolina 89, (4) VMI 81 (Semifinals)

2011-12 SEASON SERIES:  Coastal Carolina swept the season series from VMI for the third consecutive season.  The Chanticleers won 87-78 at home on Dec. 1 and 81-64 this past Saturday in Lexington.  CCU owns an eight-game win streak over the Keydets ... ANTHONY RAFFA averaged 24.5 points in the two victories ... VMI's STAN OKOYE averaged 23.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in the two meetings ... The Keydets last defeated Coastal Carolina during the 2008-09 season, a 103-102 home win on Jan. 10, 2009.

QUARTERFINAL NOTES:  VMI has reached the Semifinals three out of the last five seasons (all odd-numbered years), and is looking to become the second-straight No. 7 seed to advance to the League's final four ... The Keydets are looking for two consecutive trips to the Conference Tournament Semifinals for the first time since joining the Big South ... Coastal Carolina has been the Conference Runner-Up the last two seasons, and is looking for its third-straight Tournament Semifinal appearance.  The Chants last made three consecutive Semifinal appearances during a five-year streak from 1988-93 ... Coastal Carolina head coach CLIFF ELLIS is one victory shy of winning 100 games with four different Division I programs ... The Chanticleers finished 12-6 in Big South play in 2011-12, the first time in school history that CCU has posted three-straight seasons with at least 12 Conference wins

TOURNAMENT NOTES:  In three career Tournament games against Coastal Carolina, KEITH GABRIEL has averaged 15.3 points, including 27 as a sophomore in 2010 ... Against Coastal in the postseason, STAN OKOYE has gone for 21 points and eight rebounds (2010 as a freshman) and 22 points and five boards (last season as a sophomore) ... SAM McLAURIN and ANTHONY RAFFA were All-Tournament Team members in 2011 ... In six career Big South Tournament games, McLaurin owns averages of 8.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, a 72.0 field goal percentage (18-of-25) and a total of 13 blocked shots.  He has also grabbed 20 of his 45 rebounds on the offensive side ... Raffa averaged 20.0 points in the 2011 Tournament, including 25 points in CCU's Semifinal win over VMI.

DID YOU KNOW:  VMI has won at least 15 games in back-to-back seasons for the first time under head coach DUGGAR BAUCOM ... This is the first time Coastal Carolina is playing a neutral site game this season.

#6 WINTHROP EAGLES vs. #3 CAMPBELL FIGHTING CAMELS, 2:00pm

SEEDINGS NOTES:  Winthrop is the No. 6 seed for the first time since 1998 and the fourth time overall.  The Eagles are 1-3 all-time in the Big South Tournament as the No. 6 seed, with their win coming against No. 3 seed Charleston Southern in 1989 ... Winthrop is looking to become the first No. 6 seed to upset the No. 3 seed since 2007, and eighth since 2000 ... Campbell, back in the Big South following 17 years in the Atlantic Sun, is the No. 3 seed in the Big South Tournament for the third time.  The previous times were in 1992 and 1993, with the 1992 squad winning it all ... The third-seeded Camels have not entered a League Tournament seeded as high since the 1996 squad was the second seed in the Atlantic Sun tournament.

TOURNAMENT RECORD:  The Eagles are 34-16 all-time in the Big South Tournament, and their last tourney victory was the Big South Championship game in 2010 against No. 1 seed Coastal Carolina ... The Camels are 9-8 all-time in the Big South Tournament, and their last Big South tourney victory was in their final season of 1994, a 72-61 win over No. 3 Radford to reach the Championship game.

TOURNAMENT SERIES:  This is the third meeting between Campbell and Winthrop in the Big South Tournament.  The Camels are 2-0.

PREVIOUS CU-WU TOURNAMENT MEETINGS
1989 - (2) Campbell 78, (6) Winthrop 55 (Semifinals)
1994 - (2) Campbell 79, (7) Winthrop 71 (Quarterfinals)

2011-12 SEASON SERIES:  Campbell swept the season series from Winthrop, winning 54-51 in Rock Hill on Jan. 17, and 67-58 at home on Feb. 9.  LORNE MERTHIE averaged 14.0 points and buried 7-of-12 three-pointers.  The Camels also held Winthrop to 31.4 percent shooting from the field ... ANDRE JONES led the Eagles with 18.0 points in the two contests, while GEORGE VALENTINE averaged 8.5 boards.

QUARTERFINAL NOTES:  The Eagles are looking to reach the Semifinals for the first time since 2010 and the 16th time overall ...Winthrop has won its last two Big South Tournament games played on a neutral court (2010 vs. Radford at CCU and 2008 vs. High Point at Asheville) ... REGGIE MIDDLETON ranks 20th all-time in Big South history with 406 career assists ... GEORGE VALENTINE needs four blocked shots to become 17th player in Big South history with 600 career rebounds and 100 career blocks ... ANDRE JONES (1,260) is 10 points away from moving into the all-time 50 scorers in the Big South record books ... Campbell is a Top 3 seed for the the seventh time as Big South members, and advanced to the Semifinals four times in those years ... The Camels' League-high 163 blocked shots are tied for fourth-most in a Big South single-season ... Big South Freshman of the Year TREY FREEMAN leads all Big South freshmen in scoring (14.2), field goal percentage (44.1) and free throw percentage (86.8).  He has made 44 of his last 47 foul shots (93.6) ... ERIC GRIFFIN (69) has already broken the school record for blocked shots he first set in 2010-11.  The First-Team All-Big South pick ranks 6th in the nation in FG% (61.4) and also leads the Big South in blocks (2.3).

TOURNAMENT NOTES:  Head Coach RANDY PEELE has won three Big South Tournament titles in his career (UNC Greensboro in 1996, Winthrop in 2008 and 2010), which is tied for the second-most in Conference annals ... ANDRE JONES and REGGIE MIDDLETON are career 50.0 percent shooters in Tournament games.  Jones has made 22-of-44 in five contests, while Middleton has buried 16-of-32 in four appearances ... Campbell is looking for its first berth in a Conference Tournament Semifinals since 2006 (Atlantic Sun) and seventh overall.

DID YOU KNOW:  Head coach RANDY PEELE was an assistant coach at Campbell during the Camels' first stint in the Big South.  Peele served on the CU staff from 1988-91, helping Campbell to two second-place finishes and a Runner-up finish in the 1989 Tournament ... Lorne Merthie became the 25th player in CU history (since 1961-62) to reach 1,000 career points during the Feb. 9 game vs. Winthrop.

#8 HIGH POINT at #1 UNC ASHEVILLE, 6:00pm

SEEDINGS NOTES:  High Point is the No. 8 seed for the first time since 2009 and the third time overall ... The No. 8 seed enjoyed a memorable victory run just once in the history of the Big South Tournament back in 1993, when eighth-seeded Winthrop advanced from a First Round game with an upset of No. 1 seed Towson State and eventually reached the title game ... UNC Asheville is the No. 1 seed for the first time since 2008 and the fourth time overall.  The Bulldogs were also the top seed in 1997, 1998 and 2008 ... The No. 1 seed last won the Conference Championship in 2009 (Radford).

TOURNAMENT RECORD:  High Point is now 10-10 all-time in the Big South Tournament following its First Round victory on Monday ... Asheville is 25-23 all-time in the Big South Tournament, and is looking to become the first defending champion to repeat since Winthrop won four consecutive titles from 2005-08.

TOURNAMENT SERIES:  This is the third consecutive Tournament meeting between High Point and UNC Asheville, and the sixth overall.  The Panthers are 3-2 against the Bulldogs in the Conference's postseason, but have not won since a 98-93 overtime victory in the 2005 Quarterfinals.  The Bulldogs have won the last two postseason meetings.

PREVIOUS HPU-ASH TOURNAMENT MEETINGS
2002 - (7) High Point 72, (2) UNC Asheville 71 (Quarterfinals)
2004 - (2) High Point 63, (6) UNC Asheville 49 (Semifinals)
2005 - (6) High Point 98, (3) UNC Asheville 93 - OT (Quarterfinals)
2010 - (4) UNC Asheville 84, (5) High Point 73 (Quarterfinals)
2011 - (3) UNC Asheville 62, (7) High Point 45 (Semifinals)

2011-12 SEASON SERIES:  UNC Asheville swept the season series for the first time since 2008-09.  The Bulldogs won 86-79 at High Point on Jan. 14, and 90-70 at home on Jan. 26.  J.P. PRIMM led Asheville with 23.0 points in the two wins, one of five players to average double figures against the Panthers this season ... In the first game, the Panthers rallied from a 28-point deficit to get within one before falling.  NICK BARBOUR averaged 22.0 points in the two games, while SHAY SHINE added 14.0.

QUARTERFINAL NOTES:  High Point is looking for its second-straight Semifinal berth and eighth overall ... NICK BARBOUR has scored 20 points in five consecutive games and is averaging 26.8 points in that span.  He ranks fourth in Big South history with 2,114 career points ... Barbour has now scored 87 points in five career Big South Tournament games (17.4 average) ... Barbour is fourth all-time on the League's career list for made free throws with 477 ... Asheville has reached the Semifinals every year since 2007 and 11 times in head coach EDDIE BIEDENBACH's 15 previous seasons leading the Bulldogs ... UNC Asheville is looking for its 17th all-time berth in the League's final four, as well as its sixth consecutive Semifinal appearance ... MATT DICKEY is fifth all-time on the League's career list for made free throws with 473 ... J.P. PRIMM is third in Conference annals with 588 career assists.

TOURNAMENT NOTES:  COREY LAW had 16 points and 11 rebounds in Monday's First Round win over No. 9 Gardner-Webb.  NICK BARBOUR contributed 22 points and HPU limited GWU to just 5-of-32 from beyond the arc ( =13.2 percent) ... 2011-12 Big South Player of the Year MATT DICKEY was the Tournament MVP last season after averaging 19.7 points.  J.P. PRIMM was also an All-Tournament Team member last year ... In their respective Tournament careers, Primm has averaged 12.1 points and 5.0 rebounds in seven Big South postseason appearances, while Dickey has averaged 16.4 points and has gone 27-of-29 from the charity stripe in seven Tournament contests.

DID YOU KNOW:  High Point's three Tournament wins against UNC Asheville are tied for its most against one Big South opponent.  The Panthers have also defeated Radford three times in the League's postseason event ... MATT DICKEY (1,737) and J.P. PRIMM (1,613) are the Big South's second set of four-year teammates to score more than 1,600 points.  In addition, Asheville is 20-6 when Dickey and Primm score at least 15 points in the same game.

#5 LIBERTY vs. #4 CHARLESTON SOUTHERN, 8:00pm

SEEDINGS NOTES:  Liberty is the No. 5 seed for just the second time.  The Flames were seeded fifth in the 2000 Tournament and lost to No. 4 UNC Asheville in the Quarterfinals when the Tournament was contested at the Asheville Civic Center ... Charleston Southern is the No. 4 seed for the first time since 2002 and the sixth time overall.  The Buccaneers are 7-4 as the No. 4 seed, including winning it all in 1997.

TOURNAMENT RECORD:  Liberty is 17-18 all-time in the Big South Tournament, and its last tourney victory was in 2009, an 88-77 home win over No. 6 Gardner-Webb to reach the Semifinals ... Charleston Southern is 22-21 all-time in the Big South Tournament, and its last tourney victory was in 2006, a 97-76 road win at No. 3 Birmingham-Southern to reach the Semifinals in head coach BARCLAY RADEBAUGH's first season.

TOURNAMENT SERIES:  This is the sixth meeting between Liberty and Charleston Southern in the Big South Tournament.  The Flames have won twice, last winning in the 2004 Quarterfinals, 60-54 ... The Buccaneers are 3-2, including a victory at Liberty in the last meeting as the No. 7 seed in the 2005 Quarterfinals.

PREVIOUS LU-CSU TOURNAMENT MEETINGS
1994 - (4) Liberty 82, (5) Charleston Southern 71 (Quarterfinals)
1995 - (2) Charleston Southern 60, (6) Liberty 58 (Semifinals)
1997 - (4) Charleston Southern 64, (2) Liberty 54 (Finals)
2004 - (1) Liberty 60, (8) Charleston Southern 54 (Quarterfinals)
2005 - (7) Charleston Southern 66, (2) Liberty 60 (Quarterfinals)

2011-12 SEASON SERIES:  The teams split the season series in 2011-12, with the road team prevailing.  Charleston Southern won 81-76 in a game played at Randolph College in Lynchburg on Dec. 31.  Liberty won 75-74 at Charleston Southern on Feb. 9 on ANTWAN BURRUS' 30-foot buzzer-beater that was ESPN's No. 2 play that night SAAH NIMLEY averaged 18.5 points in the two games, while KELVIN MARTIN contributed 16.5 points and 11.0 rebounds, while going 11-of-17 from the field ( =64.7).The teams split the season series in 2011-12, with the road team prevailing ... JESSE SANDERS averaged 19.5 points, 8.5 assists and 7.5 rebounds against the Buccaneers ... DAVID MINAYA chipped in an average of 18.0 points as well.

QUARTERFINAL NOTES:  The Flames are looking to snap a three-game Conference Tournament losing streak and reach the Semifinals for the first time since 2009 when guard JESSE SANDERS was a freshman.  Liberty last advanced to the Semifinals as a bottom four seed in 2001 (No. 6 seed) ... The Buccaneers are looking to snap a five-game Conference Tournament losing streak and reach the Semifinals for the first time since 2006.  CSU is also in search of its 13th overall berth in the Semifinals ... This is the third time in its last four Big South Tournament appearances that Charleston Southern is playing in Asheville.  The Bucs faced UNC Asheville in the 2008 and 2011 Quarterfinals ... CSU was involved in the last Big South Tournament game to reach overtime when the Bucs lost by three at No. 2 seed Radford in the 2010 Quarterfinals.

TOURNAMENT NOTES:  JESSE SANDERS is the Big South's all-time assist leader with 720, and is 10th in the Conference's record books with 807 rebounds.  He needs 10 boards to move into ninth.  He is believed to be the first player in NCAA Division I history with 1,000 career points (1,221), 800 rebounds and 700 assists ... Sanders' Big South Tournament career includes 11.5 points and 13-of-16 made from the free throw line ( =81.3 percent) in four contests ... Two-time Big South Defensive Player of the Year KELVIN MARTIN is one of three players in the history of the Big South Conference with 1,000 career points (1,450), 900 rebounds (954), 200 steals (217) and 100 blocked shots (121).  He needs one rebound to move into sole possession of third-place on the Conference's all-time list ... In two career Big South Tournament games, Martin has averages of 15.5 points and 8.5 rebounds, while JEREMY SEXTON has averaged 14.5 markers.

DID YOU KNOW:  Head coach DALE LAYER started the basketball program at Queens College in Charlotte in 1989-90 and spent nine seasons as coach and also served as Athletics Director ... Big South Coach of the Year BARCLAY RADEBAUGH was the head coach at Queens University in Charlotte in 2003-04, his first collegiate head coaching position.