Wofford -2 vs. Western Carolina, 7 pm ET
Now that we are in the midst of the longest losing streak over the duration of this column (4 games), it’s time to shift our focus to the Southern Conference on Monday in search of a cover. Both of these schools are at interesting points in their respective campaigns, but the fact remains that these are still two of the most balanced teams in the conference this year. As far as track records in the league go, Western Carolina began conference play with four straight wins last year but stumbled down the stretch to post a rather disappointing 9-9 mark. So while Larry Hunter’s team might once again be sitting pretty at 4-0 in the Southern, this program still needs to answer questions about its ability to win road games against league opponents, and that clearly begins tonight. Wofford, though, sputtered out to a 2-8 record after its first 10 conference games last season, and still came together down the stretch to win five of its final eight games. Virtually all of the youngsters from head coach Mike Young’s roster who suffered through this are back and poised to make a similar late-season push, and there’s no reason to believe it can’t happen again. The Terriers are definitely more seasoned after playing a brutal non-conference schedule that included games against Minnesota, VCU, Saint Louis, Georgia, and Iona, and will also have revenge on their side after losing to Western Carolina on the road in last year’s meeting by a single point. Wofford has also bumped up its percentages in many areas over its five games against league opponents, and still remain appear undervalued with those early season losses weighing their efficiency numbers down considerably. Home teams might only be winning at a low 55.6% rate this year in the Southern, but that number should increase tonight after Wofford pulls out a much-needed victory on its own floor.
Season record: 76-51-2
December: 28-17 (62.22%)
November: 36-22-2 (62.06%)