Davidson hasn’t lost to a Southern Conference opponent in nearly 14 months and hasn’t dropped a league tournament game in over three years.
They hope to continue that dominance and advance to a third consecutive conference title game Sunday when they face UNC Greensboro, the last team to eliminate them from the tournament.
Since losing to Appalachian State on Jan. 20, 2007, the No. 25 Wildcats have won 34 straight conference games by an average of 17.5 points. That run includes four consecutive SoCon tournament victories, part of a seven-game win streak that dates back to a loss to the Spartans (20-11) on March 4, 2005. That seven-game stretch includes back-to-back tournament championships.
“I’m thrilled with our team. I’m thrilled with the consistency,” said Wildcats coach Bob McKillop, who has led Davidson to the NCAA tournament four times in 18 seasons.
High-scoring Stephen Curry helped top-seeded Davidson keep both of those runs intact, while extending the nation’s longest overall win streak to 20 games on Saturday when he scored 19 points in an 82-49 quarterfinal win over Wofford.
“We’ve been taking it one step at a time all year,” Curry said. “We’re not looking forward, we’re not looking behind, we’re only looking at what’s in front of us.”
Curry, the son of former NBA guard Dell Curry, is fifth in the nation with 25.1 points per game. The sophomore guard, though, is averaging 31.0 points in four career games - all wins - over UNC Greensboro. He dominated the Spartans in two meetings this season, totaling 71 points on 54.5 percent shooting (24-for-44).
Davidson has won five consecutive matchups and 12 of the last 13 against UNC Greensboro.
The fifth-seeded Spartans, seeking to match a season-high six-game win streak, hope to advance to their first SoCon title game since 2005, when they qualified by beating the Wildcats in the semifinals. They earned another meeting with Davidson on Saturday by defeating fourth-seeded Appalachian State 63-46 behind Kyle Hines’ 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Hines is second in the conference to Curry with 19.5 points per game and the leader with 9.1 rebounds. The senior forward has been impressive during the four-game losing streak to the Wildcats, averaging 23.3 points on 58.1 percent shooting (36-of-62) while adding 11.5 rebounds.
He’ll likely need more help from guard Kevin Oleksiak, the team’s second-highest scorer with 11.7 points per game. The senior managed only four points on Saturday, shooting 2-of-9 from the field after he averaged 18.0 points on 22-for-39 shooting - 8-for-19 from beyond the arc - in the four prior games.
Oleksiak was limited to only five points in a 75-66 loss to Davidson on Feb. 19 after scoring 26 points, including 5-of-6 from long range, in an 83-78 home defeat to the Wildcats six days earlier.
The winner of this contest will play the winner of the Charleston-Elon matchup in the tournament final Monday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.