|Mercer||T Smith 13.5||J Gollon 5.1||L Hall 4.9|
|Tennessee||J McRae 16.0||J Stokes 9.5||T Golden 4.0|
No. 7-seeded Mercer meets No. 2-seeded Tennessee in the first round of the NIT at Thompson-Boling Arena on Wednesday. It gets started at 8 p.m. ET and you can catch it on ESPN U. The Bears have not played the Volunteers since the 1993-94 season, when they lost 67-45.
In spite of 16 points from Travis Smith, the Bears came up short 88-75 against Florida Gulf Coast on Mar. 9. He leads the team in scoring average, scoring 13.5 points per contest. For the Volunteers, Josh Richardson put up 16 points and five rebounds in the 58-48 loss to Alabama on Mar. 15. He is averaging 7.9 points per game and leads the team in steals with 1.0 per game. From a tempo-free perspective, Tennessee is strong in free throw rate at 42.2. This is good enough for second in the conference and 35th in the nation.
- The Mercer basketball team finishes what they start, with a better graduation rate than Tennessee (91 percent vs. 40 percent).
- The Atlantic Sun had fewer blowout games in conference (meaning there is greater parity within the conference) than in the SEC.
- Macon isn't as congested as Knoxville (population is significantly lower).
- Be afraid. Mercer has blown out more teams than Tennessee this season (seven blowouts vs. two).
- The Mercer blocks leader (Daniel Coursey, 42 blocks) has more blocks than the Tennessee blocks leader (Jarnell Stokes, 36 blocks).
- Mercer has a better conference record than Tennessee this season (14-4 vs. 11-7).
- The Mercer steals leader (Jakob Gollon, 40 steals) has more steals than the Tennessee steals leader (Josh Richardson, 31 steals).
- The Mercer three-point leader (Travis Smith, 67 three-pointers) has more three-pointers than the Tennessee three-point leader (Jordan McRae, 56 three-pointers).
- The Mercer assist leader (Langston Hall, 143 assists) has more assists than the Tennessee assist leader (Trae Golden, 116 assists).
|D+||A. White Jr.||11||4||1||0||0||0||1|