Don't forget the SoCon's App State
November, 20, 2007
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- For a league that's been represented by a single team in the NCAAs every year since it gained its autobid in 1950, the SoCon has rarely been so sensational. Davidson pushed top-ranked UNC to the limit last Wednesday in a 72-68 thriller, Kyle Hines and UNC-Greensboro opened the season with an 83-74 shocker at Georgia Tech, and unheralded Georgia Southern tripped up UAB just last weekend. Only one member team (0-3 Furman) hasn't found the win column yet. The last time the league was this hot, Mack McCarthy's Chattanooga boys were ripping up office-pool brackets on their way to the 1997 Sweet 16. But lost in all this Southern-fried madness is the same program that fell through the cracks last spring: Appalachian State. It won a total of 25 games last season, including 12 of 13 down the stretch, but ill-timed losses at Elon and Furman kept App State out of the NCAA conversation, denying the SoCon its first-ever at-large bid. After a two-point loss to the College of Charleston in the second round of the league tourney, the Mountaineers had to settle for an NIT road trip and an Ole Miss mauling. Then the eligibility of heart-and-soul pointman D.J. Thompson ran out, and nobody in Boone, N.C., was thinking about basketball when the school's gridiron squad upset Michigan on Sept. 1. The poll voters forgot about them too, voting Davidson the unanimous favorite to repeat as champions.
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