Senior Jakob Gollon believes Mercer has been building toward this NCAA tournament through years of playing power conference teams.
He says it helped prepare the 14th-seeded Bears for their upset of Duke in Friday's second round, sending Mercer to Sunday's third round to face Tennessee with a chance to reach the round of 16.
Gollon says the Bears "know how good we are" and their history of beating major conference teams like Florida State, Georgia Tech, Alabama and even these same Volunteers makes them "expect to win a lot of these games."
Mercer (27-8) pulled away in the final minutes to beat Duke in the tournament's biggest upset so far. The Bears beat these 11th-seeded Volunteers (23-12) in last year's NIT first round.