Bucs easily win first 3 Socon games on the road

ETSU vs Chattanooga - Socon

When the ETSU basketball schedule came out in August, there was one thing that stood out most of anything. The Bucs were forced the start the Socon basketball schedule with three games on the road and two of those were against the preseason #1 (Mercer) and #2 (Samford) ranked teams. Coach Forbes publicly spoke about the brutality of this and so did many ETSU fans but it proved to be not much of a challenge for the senior led Bucs. Not only did ETSU win all three games but they made it look easy. The Bucs won each game by an average of 18.6 points (lets just round to 19) and absolutely dominated Chattanooga, a game which I felt ETSU could have won by 30, but the officiating was called in favor of Chattanooga, as ETSU was called for 11 more fouls than UTC. Despite the fouls, it did not matter, as the Bucs shot 56% and out rebounded the Mocs 42-29.

Road Warriors

Speaking of winning on the road, last night Coach Forbes tweeted out that ETSU has the 2nd most road wins than any other team in college basketball so far this season. The only team that has more is fellow in state rival Middle Tennessee. Maybe the two should play each other next season?

Rankings

The stellar play of the Bucs has earned them the attention from various polls and computer rankings. At the time of this writing ETSU is ranked #62 in the Kenpom Rankings, #72 in ESPN’s BPI rankings, #91 in the Sagarin Ratings and #104 in the RPI.

As for the Mid-Major polls the Bucs rank #16 in the college insider mid-major top 25, #8 in the NBC sports mid-major power rankings and #22 in the Mid-Major Madness top 25.

White out on Thursday night

On Thursday ETSU plays perhaps the biggest Socon matchup of the season so far which is a rematch of the Socon final between ETSU and UNCG in Johnson City. ETSU is calling on everyone to come out and fill Freedom Hall in a white out. Both ETSU and UNCG are unbeaten in Socon play so far this year, although ETSU has played one more game than UNCG. Go Bucs! Fill Freedom Hall!!

Read More

Socon Champs ETSU to play Florida in the NCAA Tournament

ETSU Reaction

After winning the 2017 Southern Conference tournament last week the Bucs learned on Sunday that they will play the Florida Gators in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday at 3:10PM in Orlando Florida.

ETSU will be making their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2010 when they faced Kentucky as a 16 seed. This time around the Bucs will be a 13 seed, which is their highest seed since 2004. That year ETSU was a #13 as well and nearly upset Cincinnati, losing 76-73.

ETSU finished the regular season at 27-7, just one win away from tying a school record for wins.

The 4th seeded Florida Gators finished 24-8 and second in the SEC, however the Gators also lost three out of their last four, including a first round loss to Vanderbilt in the SEC tournament. Florida’s big man, John Egbunu, was also lost for the year due to an injury suffered on February 14th versus Auburn.

ETSU and Florida have three opponents in common from the regular season. Mercer, Tennessee and Mississippi State. Like ETSU, Florida beat both Mercer and Mississippi State. Only difference is Florida won at home versus Tennessee by 13 points, where ETSU lost at home to Tennessee by four points.

The Gators have opened as 10 point favorites but ETSU seems to be a favorite among several national sports broadcasters to pull off the upset, including Jon Rothstein of CBS and Jay Bilas of ESPN.

If ETSU wins it will be their first NCAA tournament win since 1992, which is when the Bucs famously beat the 3rd seeded Arizona Wildcats 87-80.

Below is the ETSU basketball’s team reaction to drawing Florida in the first round during the selection show.

Read More

Bucs start conference play at 3-0

After a big come from behind victory on Saturday versus Mercer, the ETSU basketball team now sits atop the Socon standings as the only undefeated team at 3-0. The Bucs will look to continue their great play with a huge game against UNC-Greensboro on Thursday night. I’ll join the athletic departments request to #FillFreedom on Thursday night! The Spartans will come into Johnson City with a 12-5 overall record and 3-1 in the Socon with a big win over Chattanooga last week.

I expect this to be an exciting game that comes down to the wire. Both games against UNCG last year ended with ETSU hitting a last second shot to win in Johnson City and with ETSU closing the game on an 8-0 run against the Spartans in Greensboro for the win.

Come out and #FillFreedom on Thursday night!

Read More