Consider these two statistical trends.
1. The Charlotte 49ers began the season at 15-2 overall.
2. From Jan. 19 on, the Charlotte 49ers are just 4-8.
Quick math pins the 49ers at 19-10 overall on the season and a quick check of the conference standings shows that they sit at 7-8 within league play. Charlotte is currently positioned within a four-way tie for 9th place in the Atlantic 10 Conference. That’s not exactly a place of comfort for a team that began the season by winning 15 of their first 17 contests.
Now, only 12 of the league’s 16 teams qualify for the Atlantic 10 Tournament, which means that their free fall nearly cost them a spot within the league tournament. The 49ers can cement their spot in the conference tournament with a win over St. Joseph’s on Saturday, but that game however has high indications in terms of tournament seeding. Therefore, it’s importance speaks for itself.
If Charlotte can pull off a victory on Saturday, they will become the sixth team in the conference to total 20 wins this season, but what does it really do for its tournament chances?
The answer: probably nothing.
Charlotte’s 4-8 mark down the stretch has been devastating and their non-conference resume is not exactly picking up the slack. Charlotte is going to need a serious run, which could potentially include needing to win the A-10 Tournament, if they hope to dance on Selection Sunday.
The 49ers had all the advantages in the world at 15-2 overall, but somehow things broke down. It’s a season of two halves and unfortunately for Charlotte, the losing half of these two trends came in the second portion of the season.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS