CULLOWHEE, N.C.---The final game of the regular season means a lot this year for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's basketball team. Win and it owns the No. 3 seed in the Southern Conference Tournament March 5-8 in Charlotte, N.C., lose and it could be seeded anywhere from third to sixth.
Western Carolina is one of six schools in the league that knows its spot in the tourney. The Catamounts are second in the North Division behind Appalachian State. Wofford heads up the South followed by College of Charleston, Davidson and The Citadel in that order.
Chattanooga looks to gain some momentum heading into the tournament as the winner gets the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Championship. Ty Patterson leads the Mocs at 15.0 points per game. Ricky Taylor adds 11.7 points per contest, while Ridge McKeither chips in 9.2 points and a team-best six rebounds per game.
Brandon Giles leads the Catamounts averaging 12.2 points per game. Giles is joined in double digits by Jake Robinson (11.6) off the bench and Mike Williams (10.3) with six starts in 30 games.
WHO: Ricky Taylor. The sophomore shooter has tied his career high for points with 22 in each of the last two games against Davidson and Appalachian State.
WHAT: Chattanooga (14-16/6-11) at Western Carolina (20-10/10-7). Chattanooga leads the all-time series 48-16 after an 80-67 win over the Catamounts in Chattanooga on Jan. 28. The Mocs used a 51-point second half to move past WCU after trailing by seven, 36-29, at the half. Ty Patterson led four double digit scorers for the Mocs with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Ridge McKeither (15), Ricky Taylor
(12) and Keegan Bell (10) joined him. Western's Mike Williams led all scorers with 20. The Mocs are 15-13 all-time in Cullowhee.
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 27, 3 p.m. (ET) in the Ramsey Center (7,826).
WHERE: Chattanooga games are broadcast on the Mocs Sports Network with Jim Reynolds calling the play-by-play. It can be listened to locally on ESPN 105.1 FM and worldwide on GoMocs.com.
HOW: SportsSouth can be found on Channel 56 on Comcast Cable, Ch. 33 on EPB, Ch. 649 on DirecTV and Ch. 437 on Dish Network.
PROBABLE STARTERS: F -Ty Patterson, Sr. (15.0, 4.9); F - Sam Watson, Fr. (2.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg); C - Jeremy Saffore, Jr. (6.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg); G - Keegan Bell, So. (7.4 ppg, 4.8 apg); G - Ricky Taylor, So., (11.7, 3.3).GoMocs.com is the official website of the Chattanooga Mocs. The Mocs can also be followed on their official Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ChattanoogaMocs, or on Twitter, www.twitter.com/GoMocs.