CULLOWHEE, N.C. - The Western Carolina men’s basketball team closes out the 2016-17 regular season Monday night at home against VMI with Southern Conference Championship seedings at stake. The Catamounts and Keydets are currently tied with The Citadel for eighth in the SoCon standings. With a win on Monday, WCU will secure the No. 8 seed in the upcoming SoCon Championship and a date with either The Citadel or VMI on Friday at 5 pm in Asheville. With a loss, WCU would need The Citadel to lose against Chattanooga on Monday to guarantee a re-match with the Keydets on Friday at 5 pm. If the Bulldogs defeat Chattanooga and WCU drops the game with VMI, WCU would drop to No. 10 and face either Mercer or Samford on Friday at 7:30 pm. WCU fell to VMI by one point earlier this season in Lexington but have won seven of the last 10 meetings with the Keydets. VMI has dropped five-straight heading into Monday’s game but have the SoCon’s leading scorer in guard Q.J. Peterson who is averaging 19.4 points per contest.
Western Carolina (8-22, 3-14 SoCon) vs. VMI (6-22, 3-14 SoCon)
Monday, Feb. 27 | 7 p.m. | Cullowhee, N.C. | Ramsey Center (7,826)
TV/Video Stream: WMYA (My-40)/ESPN3
Talent: Jack Connors (PxP), Jason Patterson (Analyst) and Kelly Jones (Sideline)
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
Talent: Gary Ayers (PxP) and Daniel Hooker (Analyst)
Live Stats: CatamountSports.com
Audio Stream: Catamount Sports Network
Twitter Updates: @Catamounts
WCU Game Notes
WCU vs. VMI Opening Tip:
• The Catamounts and Keydets meet for the second time this season Monday night in both team’s regular season finales. Western Carolina fell to VMI 79-78 in the first meeting this season. VMI connected on a then-season high 13 3-pointers in the victory but despite that fact WCU had a chance to win the game at the end. With the ball and down one with nine seconds remaining WCU was unable to get off a clean shot giving the Keydets the victory. Freshman Adam Sledd led the Catamounts with his second career double-double as he scored 16 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
• WCU has won nine of the last 13 match-ups between the two squads but VMI and the Catamounts have split the last four games in Cullowhee with both of the Keydets’ victories coming in overtime.
• The game will help determine the eight, nine and 10 seeds for the upcoming SoCon Tournament.
• VMI has dropped eight of its last 10 contests including five-straight heading into Monday night’s game. The Keydets are led by guard Q.J. Peterson who is averaging 19.4 points per game. Despite standing just six feet tall, the guard leads the team in rebounding as well grabbing 6.4 boards per game.
• The Catamounts will head to the 2017 Southern Conference Championships.
• WCU will play either at 5 pm or 7:30 pm on Friday night depending on where the Catamounts finish in the conference standings.
Catamounts Versus Keydets
• The Catamounts and Keydets first met during the 1977-78 season and played every year until 2003 when VMI left the SoCon.
• WCU leads the series 31-23 and holds a 17-9 edge when the game is played in Cullowhee.
• VMI edged the Catamounts by one point, 79-78 in the only other meeting this season between the two programs.
• The Catamounts have won seven of the last 10 meetings between the two teams with two of the losses coming in Cullowhee finishing in overtime and double overtime.
Let’s Talk Tiebreakers
• If VMI and The Citadel are tied at 4-14 then higher seed goes to The Citadel (split season series, both would have a win over UTC, but CIT has a win over WOF
• If WCU and The Citadel are tied at 4-14 higher seed goes to WCU via a season sweep.
• If VMI and The Citadel are tied at 3-13 then higher seed goes to VMI (split season series, CIT will have lost to UTC twice, VMI has a UTC win.
• If WCU and The Citadel are tied at 3-13 then higher seed goes to WCU via a season sweep.
• If WCU wins, the Catamounts are guaranteed to play at 5 pm on Friday. If WCU loses, the Catamounts would need The Citadel to fall against Chattanooga in order to grab the No. 9 seed and play at 5 against VMI.