A-Sun Men’s Hoops Riding Hot Early-Season Start

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

MACON, Ga. – Buoyed by four wins against BCS opposition and ETSU ending Dayton’s 40-game non-conference home win streak, the Atlantic Sun’s conference rating ranks in the top half of the country, placing as high as 14th according to the various national ratings websites.

The four wins against schools from BCS conferences ties for first among the 23 conferences that make up the CollegeInsider.com Mid Major Top 25. The West Coast Conference has also picked up four wins against BCS schools. In the CollegeInsider.com Mid Major Top 25 seven of the Atlantic Sun’s 11 members have received votes in the weekly poll. Belmont has received votes in every edition of the poll.

Jacksonville and Belmont enter play this week inside the top 100, according the CollegeRPI.com and RPIRatings.com. The Bruins own a 5-2 mark, with those two losses coming by the same margin, 85-76 in road contests at NIT Season Tip-Off champion Tennessee and fellow SEC foe Vanderbilt. In their five wins, the Bruins have won by an average of 25.0 points per game.

Jacksonville has started 6-1, its best seven-game start in 10 years. Their lone defeat came in a season-opening 12-point contest at Miami (FL) – a game in which the Hurricanes needed a late 15-1 run to pull out the win. The Hurricanes rate inside the top 20 in the latest CollegeRPI.com rankings. The Dolphins won at Auburn on Nov. 27, the first win for the Dolphins against an SEC school as an A-Sun member.

Stetson, Kennesaw State and Campbell joined Jacksonville in beating BCS opposition. One week before Jacksonville won at Auburn, Campbell topped the Tigers, 61-54, for its first win against an SEC school in more than 16 years. The Hatters and Owls both took down ACC schools. On opening night, Stetson ended the conference’s 13-year drought against the ACC by beating Wake Forest 89-79. Four days after the Hatter win, the Owls hosted Georgia Tech - the first ACC school to play at the KSU Convocation Center – and emerged victorious, 80-63.

Outside the BCS win, the A-Sun captured victories when ETSU became the first non-conference opponent to beat the Dayton Flyers at UD Arena since December 2005 and when UNF won its second holiday tournament in as many years, winning the Mayan Division of the Cancun Challenge. In the opening round of the tournament, the Ospreys defeated their first-ever Mountain West opponent, Wyoming and became the only mid-major program to earn a victory in the opening round games of the Challenge

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The Atlantic Sun Conference is an 11-member league committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun stands for achievement with integrity in both the academic and athletic arenas, with a focus on the balance between the two for our student-athletes. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts five of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, Campbell University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.