Cougars playing tonight in NCAA March Madness

Cougars playing tonight in NCAA March Madness

College of Charleston Cougars (men's basketball team) playing tonight against Alabama in NCAA March Madness.  It's the first round and we have high hopes for the Cougars, who are trying to pull off an upset.  Some details from ESPN follow below.

The 13th-seeded Charleston Cougars (27-7, 15-3 CAA) will be going for their 13th consecutive win when they face the 4th-seeded Alabama Crimson Tide (21-11, 13-5 SEC) in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night. The game will be played at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena and it is scheduled to begin at 7:35 PM. ET.

The Cougars won the CAA regular season and they defeated Stony Brook 82-79 in the CAA Tournament final as 10.5-point favorites to earn a ticket to the Big Dance. The Crimson Tide finished fifth in the SEC and lost to Florida 102-88 in the quarterfinal of the SEC Tournament as 4.5-point favorites.

The Cougars followed up a 31-win season with a 27-win season in their third year under Pat Kelsey, booking a return trip to the NCAA Tournament by winning the CAA Tournament. They were knocked out in the first round last season by San Diego State (who went to the Final Four) and will be trying to avoid the same fate this season.

Charleston finished the season ranked 88th by KenPom, with a strength of schedule that was 226th in the country. Even though they were 12-4 in non-conference play, they didn’t pick up a win over a Power 5 school.

The Cougars are averaging 80 points per game. They scored 82 points in their last game, making 43.3 percent of their field goals and 43.3 percent of their three-pointers.

Reyne Smith led the Cougars with 23 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Ben Burnham finished with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Frankie Policelli added 12 points and five rebounds.

Charleston has struggled defensively, giving up 72.9 points per game. They gave up 79 points in their last game and will have to do a better job if they want to win this game.

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