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NCAA tournament team previews: Wofford Terriers

Karl CochranKarl Cochran's three-point shooting could be the key to Wofford pulling off a potential upset. (MCT via Getty)

As part of its preview of the 2014 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, SI.com is taking a look at all 68 teams in the field. RPI and SOS data from realtimerpi.com. Adjusted offense and defense are from kenpom.com and measure the number of points scored and allowed per 100 possessions, and the team’s national rank. For more teams, click here.

Record: 20-12, 11-5 in Southern Conference

RPI/SOS: 155/259

Adj. Offense/Adj. Defense: 101.0 (235th) / 102.6 (127th)

Seed: No. 15 in Midwest

Impact player: Karl Cochran, junior guard. 15.7 ppg. 5.0 rpg. 39.7 3P%.

The Case For:

The Terriers have been here before. Coach Mike Young has now guided Wofford to the NCAA tournament three times in the last five seasons. His team runs its offense through Karl Cochran. The junior guard uses 28.7 percent of available possessions and takes 33.2 percent of his team’s shots while he’s on the floor, according to Kenpom.com. But it’s what Cochran does with those possessions and shots – namely, average 15.7 points per game and shoot a shade under 40 percent from three – that makes him vital to everything the Terriers do on offense. If Wofford – which ranks 341st out of 351 Division I teams in adjusted tempo – can force its opponent to play at a slow pace, and Cochran gets hot from the outside, the Terriers could keep it close against a higher-seeded opponent for at least a half.

The Case Against:

If not for a couple of upsets in the conference tournament, No. 3 seed Wofford probably wouldn’t have earned the SoCon’s lone tourney bid. Regular season champion and heavy favorite Davidson was upset by No. 3 seed Western Carolina in the semifinals, while No. 2 seed Chattanooga was upended by Georgia Southern in the quarterfinals. While Wofford closed the regular season by winning 10 of its last 12 games, the Terriers failed to beat the two teams seeded above them in the conference tournament. Wofford also came up short against its top nonconference opponents, losing to Georgia by 20, Minnesota by 22, Saint Louis by 14 and VCU by 15. Wofford has shown it can effectively guard SoCon opposition, but the Terriers lack offensive firepower, and no one in their starting lineup is taller than 6-foot-7 (sophomore C.J. Neumann). If Cochran isn’t hitting shots, Wofford may not be able to keep up with its opponent – no matter how well the Terriers are defending.

SI Prediction: Lose in second round to Michigan

View complete bracket predictions from SI.com’s panel of experts

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