The time has come. It’s win or go home. The prior 31 games no longer matter as UAB has the opportunity to win four games in four days and return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2015. We know Wednesday’s opponent and we know Thursday’s if the Blazers are able to beat the 49ers for the second time in 30 days.
Let’s take a look at the bracket.
I’ve mentioned it a couple of times now, but I love the way this bracket sets up for UAB. We have the opportunity to play our first two games against teams we’ve beaten this season and match up well against personnel-wise. There’s even a possibility we could see Marshall in the semi-finals, which would make it three games in a row against teams we’ve beaten this season. If the semi-final is against Old Dominion, we get the revenge game.
Let’s shift the focus to Charlotte who, like UAB, has had quite the erratic conference performance through 18 games. At their best they beat Old Dominion in Charlotte despite only hitting 4-of-16 3-pointers. The 49ers are without a doubt one of the better and more reliant upon 3-point shooting teams in the conference. They hit 10 in their 2-point win at UTSA last Thursday. But let’s not discount their ability to get to the rim with their shifty, quick guards who are all very good free throw shooters.
Speaking of shifty, quick guards, Jon Davis is arguably the best one in this conference. He does everything well including hitting last second shots to win games, which he’s done three times this season. He had 24 against UAB last month, which means maybe even if he goes off again it won’t matter if we’re able to have a buffet in the paint – let’s hope.
If I’m Rob Ehsan I’m starting Cokley and Lee together and running every single possession through those two in the paint the first five minutes – let the boys eat! Tosin played just 17 minutes the last time these two met, and we still had 54 points in the paint. If he does start and we run two or three dead end plays through him to start, I’d go ahead and walk out to 9th avenue and scalp whatever tickets you have.