2024 Southern Conference Basketball Tournament

The first bad beat of the 2024 Southern Conference Tournament is that mobile sports betting in North Carolina won’t launch until the day of the Championship Game on March 11, but this should be an exciting tourney with a strong field at Harrah’s Cherokee Center in Asheville. No betting, but, hey, grab a beer in one of America’s best beer towns if you’re heading to this one.

All 10 teams in the SoCon are heading to this one with one bid up for grabs in the NCAA Tournament. We’ve had SoCon teams in the running for at-large berths before, but that is not the case this season, even though Samford has been a top-100 squad all season long.


How to Watch the Southern Conference Tournament

When: March 8-11

Where: Harrah’s Cherokee Center in Asheville, NC

Format: Top six seeds get byes to the Quarterfinals

Watch: ESPN+, ESPNU, ESPN; Championship Game on ESPN on Mar. 11 at 7 p.m. ET

College Basketball Odds | College Basketball Betting Splits | Greg Peterson’s Daily Lines | Steve Makinen’s Power Ratings

Southern Conference Tournament Bracket

socon tournament

Southern Conference Tournament Seeds, Teams and Odds

1. Samford (+150)

2. UNC Greensboro (+425)

3. Chattanooga (+550)

4. Western Carolina (+500)

5. Furman (+700)

6. Wofford (+1500)

7. East Tennessee State (+2000)

8. Mercer (+6000)

9. The Citadel (+13000)

10. VMI (+50000)

(odds from DraftKings Sportsbook accurate at time of publish)

Favorite To Win Southern Conference Tournament

Samford is definitely the best team in this conference. They’ve led the league in adjusted offensive efficiency throughout and also wrapped up the regular season second in adjusted defensive efficiency due to a 22.6% TO% on defense. The only other team north of 18% was UNC Greensboro. Defense is generally optional in the SoCon, so any team that plays an ounce of defense has a good chance.

Pair a good offense with a bit of defense and Samford is what you get. Bucky McMillan’s bunch has some pressure here. Samford hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2000 and has one postseason appearance (2017 CIT) since then.

Southern Conference Tournament Darkhorse

Mercer is going to be a popular choice as a long shot here. The Bears beat Samford back on Feb. 17 and also scooped a win over UNC Greensboro a week later. They actually swept UNCG during the regular season. They shouldn’t have any issues with The Citadel in the 8/9 game, but it’s more about the fact that they have to play on Friday at 5 p.m. and then play Samford at Noon on Saturday.

Stranger things have happened and the very nature of this conference can create some upsets. Sometimes playing a game and getting the jitters out in a neutral setting can help. At 60/1, the Bears are moderately intriguing to say the least.

Players to Watch in Southern Conference Tournament

A lot of dudes get buckets in the SoCon. There are only 11 players that averaged at least 15 points per game, but there are 28 players that averaged at least 10 points per game. Western Carolina’s Vonterius Woolbright (21.4 PPG) led the conference and also averaged 12.1 rebounds per game to lead the conference. He also ranked second in assists per game with 5.5. Everything for the Catamounts goes through him.

UNC Greensboro relies heavily on Mikeal Brown-Jones (19.3 PPG, 7.6 RPG) and Keyshaun Langley (15.6 PPG, 3.3 APG) to put the ball in the cylinder and on Kobe Langley (5.7 APG) to facilitate the offense. A lot of other teams have more balanced passing attacks, as 10 players averaged at least 3.3 assists per game, with Furman and Wofford having at least two each.

One of the Furman guys is JP Pegues, who had 18 PPG and 4.9 APG. It is worth noting that Samford had some injuries down the stretch, including a game or two off for Achor Achor (15.2 PPG, 5.8 RPG) and A.J. Staton-McCray (12.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG).

Betting Pick to Win The Southern Conference Tournament

I’m torn on this conference tourney. I think Samford is vulnerable, but not so much against Western Carolina, who lost seven games in league play with two to Samford, two to UNC Greensboro, and others to Furman, Wofford, and Chattanooga, so the best teams in the conference. 

UNC Greensboro’s two games against Chattanooga were diametrically opposite, as the Spartans won by 16 on the road and lost by 28 at home. Chattanooga was blown out twice by Samford. Then there’s always the chance, albeit fairly slim, that an improved Mercer team puts a huge scare into Samford.

I think UNC Greensboro is my pick, but I don’t see a great investment opportunity.

Pick: UNC Greensboro +425

Makinen Power Ratings for Southern Conference

Check out the other previews in our 2024 College Basketball Conference Tournament Betting Guide.