The USC Upstate men’s basketball team begins its quest for an NCAA Tournament bid Tuesday night at 7 p.m. when the third-seeded Spartans host No. 6 seed North Florida in the opening round of the Atlantic Sun Tournament from the Hodge Center.
USC Upstate (18-13, 11-7) clinched the No. 3 seed in the tournament following its 79-73 victory over ETSU Friday evening. Spartan senior Ricardo Glenn tallied his conference-leading 11th double-double of the season when he tied a career-high with 24 points to go along with 10 rebounds against the Buccaneers. Glenn finished the regular season leading the league in rebounding (8.0 rpg), offensive rebounding, (3.2 orpg) and field goal percentage (.632).
Torrey Craig added 10 points and five rebounds in the regular season final and enters the tournament needing just five more rebounds to move into sole possession of first place on Upstate’s all-time list with 931. The Great Falls, S.C., native is also fourth in the A-Sun in rebounding (7.1 rpg) and second in defensive rebounds (5.0 drpg). Additionally, Craig leads the conference with 16.9 points per game and is looking to become just the second player in league history to lead the A-Sun in scoring for three consecutive years.
North Florida (16-15, 10-8) closed the regular season with wins at Mercer and Kennesaw State to earn the No. 6 seed in the tournament. The Ospreys enter the event having won four of their last five road games to improve to 7-10 away from the UNF Arena.
Osprey freshman guard Dallas Moore paces North Florida on offensive with 12.5 points per game, while forward Travis Wallace stands second on the team with 12.3 points per game. Wallace also ranks second in the league with 7.4 rebounds per game. Beau Beech also scores in double figures with 10.4 points per game.
Upstate and North Florida will be meeting on the hardwood for the 22nd time when the two teams tipoff Tuesday. Upstate leads North Florida 13-8 in the all-time series that dates back to the 1997-98 season. The Spartans swept the season series with North Florida this year and have won five of the last six meetings overall. Upstate is also 7-3 at home all-time against North Florida and has won the last three meetings in the Hodge Center. Upstate and North Florida have never met in the A-Sun Tournament.