Tiny Dancers: Davidson

Davidson is exactly the type of team no one wants to face in the round of 64. (USATSI)
Davidson is exactly the type of team no one wants to face in the round of 64. (USATSI)

With all the No. 1 seeds falling in conference tournaments around the country, Davidson made sure it didn’t join the victims.

The Wildcats easily handled Charleston on Monday night, 74-55, winning the Southern Conference championship and completing a terrific run through the league. Davidson went 17-1 in the regular season, and then won all three games in the conference tournament. Only seven of the Wildcats’ 20 wins came by single-digits, and they haven’t lost since Jan. 14. 

This is the second season in a row Bob McKillop has Davidson in the dance. A year ago, the Wildcats hung with Louisville for a while but ultimately fell in the round of 64. They won’t be a team anyone wants to face in the first game of the tournament this year, as the Wildcats are experienced and versatile. Moreover, they are battle-tested, as Davidson faced New Mexico, Gonzaga, Duke and others in the non-conference season. 

McKillop and Davidson could be an upset special in the Round of 64.

Players to know: De’Mon Brooks and Jake Cohen. It’s too hard to just pick one of the Wildcats’ frontcourt duo. They were arguably the two best players in the Southern Conference, and both are capable of big games in the tournament. Brooks is tough and efficient around the rim, while Cohen has the ability to step out and knock down shots from the perimeter. They will be tough to guard for any opponent.

The Vitals:

  • Record: 26-7 overall, 17-1 Southern
  • Most recent tournament appearance: 2012
  • Jerry Palm predicts: 14
  • KenPom ranking: 66
  • Sagarin ranking: 67
  • RPI: 68
  • Best wins: Richmond, Montana
  • Worst losses: UW-Milwaukee, Georgia Southern
  • Notable stat: Don’t get in a close game with Davidson, because the Wildcats are the best free-throw shooting team in the country. They knock down 80.5 percent from the free-throw stripe, with every key rotation player shooting at least 71 percent. Moreover, two of their top three scorers -- Cohen and Nik Cochran -- shoot 83.6 percent and 93.9 percent, respectively.

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