Middle Tennessee (4-1) vs. Mercer (2-3)
Cancun Challenge – Mayan Division , Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, Riviera Maya, Mexico; Wednesday, 3 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Middle Tennessee and Mercer will meet in a postseason game in Riviera Maya. Mercer earned a 78-68 win over Bucknell in its most recent game, while Middle Tennessee won 60-54 against Rider in its last outing.
VETERAN PRESENCE: Senior leadership could play a big role in this game’s outcome. Neftali Alvarez, Felipe Haase and Jalen Johnson have combined to account for 64 percent of Mercer’s scoring this season. For Middle Tennessee, Josh Jefferson, DeAndre Dishman and Donovan Sims have combined to score 37 percent of the team’s points this season.
FACILITATING THE OFFENSE: Alvarez has either made or assisted on 47 percent of all Mercer field goals over the last five games. The senior guard has accounted for 38 field goals and 23 assists in those games.
ASSIST RATIOS: The Bears have recently used assists to create buckets more often than the Blue Raiders. Mercer has 42 assists on 76 field goals (55.3 percent) over its previous three outings while Middle Tennessee has assists on 33 of 65 field goals (50.8 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: The Middle Tennessee defense has forced opponents into turnovers on an impressive 29.6 percent of all possessions, which ranks the Blue Raiders ninth among Division I teams. Mercer has turned the ball over on 21.7 percent of its possessions (ranking the Bears 288th, nationally).
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