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SoCon Championship Game preview: No. 1 UNC Greensboro vs. No. 7 Mercer

We go over how you can watch Monday’s UNCG-Mercer, as well has how you should be against the spread.

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Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets guard Michael Devoe passes the ball around Mercer Bears forward Maciej Bender in the second half at McCamish Pavilion. Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The time for the Southern Conference championship has finally arrived. UNCG won the regular-season title, so it's not surprising to see them in the final round. Mercer is the other team competing to get the SoCon’s lone automatic bid. The Spartans are looking to return for the big show for the first time since 2018, while the Bears could end a seven-year drought. UNCG swept Mercer in the regular season, but the underdog hopes to get a different result on Monday.

UNCG (20-8, 13-5) has won three straight games since dropping one to Western Carolina, but its last matchup against Mercer was a close one. The Spartans edged out the Bears by three points on the road but will have home-court advantage on their side this time around as the top seed. Senior guard Isaiah Miller is on a scoring spree, and the opposition doesn’t have an option that can fill it up like him. He’s scored at least 21 points in three straight contests.

Mercer’s (18-10, 8-9) rise to the top has been unexpected. The Bears finished the regular season in sixth place and upset Wofford and VMI en route to the championship game. Mercer doesn’t have an outright star, so Ross Cummins, Neftali Alvarez, Leon Ayers, and Felipe Haase will have to be firing on all cylinders for the Bears to get a desirable result.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch No. 1 seed UNCG vs. No. 7 seed Mercer on Monday, March 7 at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN, or you can stream it via the ESPN app with a cable or streaming service login. If you don’t have a cable login to access the ESPN app, you can get a free trial from YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, AT&T TV Now, FuboTV, or Sling TV to stream it.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: UNCG -3.5
Point Total: 139.5

Notes

  • Mercer is one of the most efficient shooting teams in the country and shoots 48.33% from the field.
  • The Spartans ranked 102nd nationally via KenPom, while the Bears are the third-highest SoCon team at 127th.
  • UNCG has beaten Mercer by an average of 8 points through two regular-season meetings

The Best Bet

This is one of those tournaments being played in a casino, but don’t crap out with Mercer. Though the Bears have won three in a row to get here, they’ve lost to UNCG twice this season: 81-68 on the road, 77-74 at home. Throw in two easy wins for the Spartans to get here, compared to three games including two tough ones for Mercer, and sometimes these brackets play to seed for a reason.

The Pick: UNCG -3.5

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