UNC Asheville made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012 by beating Winthrop in the Big South Tournament, and they're looking to get a win in the Big Dance for the first time since 2011. Can they do it? Here's everything you need to know about the Bulldogs:
Record - 22-11 (12-6 in Big South)
RPI - 149
Strength of Schedule - 266
G Ahmad Thomas (So.) – 11.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg
G Kevin Vannatta (So.) – 11.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg
G Dylan Smith (Fr.) – 13.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg
G Dwayne Sutton (Fr.) – 11.6 ppg, 7.5 rpg
F Sam Hughes (Sr.) – 10.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg
Sutton has taken on the task of being the "big guard" in Asheville's four-guard offense, playing the role to perfection this year. He leads the team in rebounds despite being just 6'5" and is a matchup problem for opposing team's big men. That versatility showed up in a big way in the conference championship game, where he put up 25 points and 18 rebounds.
Asheville is one of just a handful of teams that have five starters all averaging double-figures in points, and that balance has served them well all season. They beat you in a variety of ways from every position on the floor, putting a ton of added stress on the opposing defense.
Even though the Bulldogs have weapons all over the court, they don't move the ball a lot on offense, ranking just 221st in the country in assists per game. Not moving the ball and playing one-on-one against a more talented team will hurt UNCA in the tournament.
Every team is capable of pulling an upset given the right matchup, but I just don't see that happening in this case. Getting to the tournament was the ceiling for UNC Asheville this season - they're not winning a game.