The 2021 Big South basketball tournament is among the first conference tournaments to commence this season. Four different teams have won the Big South Tournament over the last five seasons. Can last year’s champion and this year’s top seed Winthrop repeat? Read on for a look at the Big South Tournament bracket and schedule, then preview what we can expect to see.
Big South Conference Standings
|Team||Conference Record||Overall Record||Tournament Outlook|
|UNC Asheville||9-5||10-9||4 seed|
|High Point||6-11||8-14||8 seed|
|USC Upstate||5-11||5-17||9 seed|
Big South Tournament Schedule
Dates: February 27, March 1, 4, 7
TV: ESPN, ESPN+, ESPN3
Site: Campus Sites (Higher Seed Hosts)
Byes: Top six get single bye
Most Recent Champion: Winthrop
Big South Tournament Bracket
- (7) Hampton 67, (10) Presbyterian 65
- (8) High Point 65, (9) USC Upstate 61
- (1) Winthrop 83, (8) High Point 54
- (2) Radford 67, (7) Hampton 52
- (3) Campbell 63, (6) Gardner-Webb 57
- (5) Longwood 77, (4) UNC Asheville 61
- (1) Winthrop 82, (5) Longwood 61
- (3) Campbell 78, (2) Radford 60
- (1) Winthrop 80, (3) Campbell 53
Winthrop advances to NCAA Tournament
Big South Conference Breakdown
Winthrop won the 2020 Big South basketball tournament but was unable to represent the conference on the national stage with the NCAA Tournament being canceled. Nonetheless, the Eagles dropped just a single game in regular-season play this year and are poised to repeat. With their win last year and a 2017 triumph, Winthrop is the only school to win multiple conference tournament championships since 2015. Other schools to win the Big South Tournament in that same time frame are UNC Asheville (2016), Radford (2018) and Gardner-Webb (2019).
With a net ranking of 72, Winthrop is by far the highest-rated team in the Big South. Only Gardner-Webb (185) joins the Eagles with a net ranking better than the 200. Winthrop’s 79.2 average points per game were over five points better than the second-best scoring team, UNC Asheville. Campbell, Gardner-Webb and Hampton round out the top five offensive teams in Big South basketball. Radford was the top scoring defense in the Big South, surrendering an average of 64.6 points per game. Behind them was Longwood (67.0), while Winthrop (68.3) tied for third in scoring defense with the lowest seed in the Big South Tournament, Presbyterian.
The Big South basketball preseason poll correctly tabbed Winthrop as the winner of the conference. There were, however, some big misses looking further down the standings. The biggest overachiever relative to preseason poll projections this season was Campbell. The Fighting Camels finished third in the regular-season standings after being picked to finish tenth. Among the teams participating in the Big South Conference Tournament, USC Upstate was the greatest underachiever, finishing ninth after being picked fifth. Charleston Southern will not participate in the tournament due to virus issues. CSU finished dead last in the league standings after being picked to finish third.