No. 7-seeded Mercer takes on No. 2-seeded Tennessee in the first round of the NIT at Thompson-Boling Arena on Wednesday. It takes place at 8 p.m. ET and you can catch it on ESPN U. The Bears have not played the Volunteers since the 1993-94 season, when they fell 67-45.
In their last game on Mar. 9, Travis Smith put up 16 points for the Bears in a loss to Florida Gulf Coast, 88-75. At 13.5, he paces the team in points per game. For the Volunteers, Josh Richardson finished with 16 points and five rebounds in the 58-48 loss to Alabama on Mar. 15. He averages 7.9 points per game in addition to a team-best 1.0 steals per game. When considering the Four Factors, Tennessee performs well in free throw rate at 42.2. This ranks second in the conference and 35th in the country.
StatSmack! Mercer is better than Tennessee
Mercer has a better conference record than Tennessee this season (14-4 vs. 11-7).
Mercer players are more experienced than Tennessee players (17,206 minutes played vs. 13,925 minutes played).
Mercer is ranked higher than Tennessee in their conference (No. 1 vs. No. 5).
The Mercer three-point leader (Travis Smith, 67 three-pointers) has more three-pointers than the Tennessee three-point leader (Jordan McRae, 56 three-pointers).