Spartans Host James Madison Tuesday in CIT First Round

March 17, 2015 at 9:50 am

The USC Upstate men’s basketball team makes its third postseason appearance in the last four years when the Spartans host James Madison Tuesday at 7 p.m. on ESPN3 in the opening round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament from the Hodge Center.

Upstate reached the finals of the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament for the first time in school history and nearly punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament, but top-seeded North Florida hung on for a 63-57 win March 8 in Jacksonville, Fla.

Senior guard Ty Greene scored 21 points against the Ospreys and enters the postseason 13th in the NCAA in scoring with 20.2 points per game. The Knoxville, Tenn., native has scored at least 20 points in six straight games and his 666 total points this season are the seventh-most in the NCAA.

Greene is also first in the A-Sun and 20th in the nation with 2.1 steals per game, while his 69 total steals this season are the 17th-most in the NCAA. Fellow senior guard Fred Miller ranks second in the league with 1.9 thefts per game to help Upstate rank 22nd in the country with 8.0 steals per game.

Miller poured in 14 points in the A-Sun championship game and is second on the team and 13th in the league with 12.1 points per game. The Atlanta, Ga., native also ranks second in the league with 4.3 assists per game.

Upstate junior forward ShunQuez Stephens stands third in the A-Sun with 6.1 rebounds per game and Michael Buchanan follows in fourth with 6.0. Buchanan also ranks second in the conference with 2.6 offensive rebounds per game.

James Madison finished the regular season with a 12-6 mark in Colonial Athletic Association play and enters the CIT with a 19-13 overall record. The Dukes tied for the conference title and tied a school record for the most single-season wins in CAA play. Despite earning a share of the conference title, James Madison earned the No. 4 seed in the CAA Tournament and fell in the quarterfinals to fifth-seeded Hofstra.

The Dukes are led by All-CAA second team guard Ron Curry and All-CAA third team forward Yohanny Dalembert. Curry averaged a team-best 13.8 points per game to go along with 4.4 assists per game, while Dalembert averaged 11.6 points and a team-high 5.9 rebounds per game.