The Eagles and Railsplitters, as well as Anderson, are tied for second, just one game back of league leader Wingate. All four teams play one another once in the final two weeks of the regular season.
C-N's seven-game streak is the longest in the SAC and the Southeast Region. In the league, Wingate is closest, winning four consecutive. While in the region, the Conference Carolinas' Belmont Abbey has won six in a row.
"LMU has established itself as one of the premiere programs in the country," Carson-Newman head men's hoops coach Chuck Benson said. "You add in Wingate, Anderson and L-R and you've got a scenario where it's going to go down to those final games to decide who's going to win the league."
LMU was the last team to defeat C-N. The Railsplitters manhandled the Eagles in their worst loss of the season 80-63 in Holt Fieldhouse back on Jan. 21. Jake Troyli lit up C-N for 32 points – the most Carson-Newman has surrendered to an individual player this year.
In the first meeting, the Eagles jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the opening two minutes before the Railsplitters got hot. After the 4-0 Eagle start, LMU would sink 11 consecutive shots to jettison out to a 17-point advantage with 10 minutes left in the opening frame – a lead LMU would not relinquish.
"They played so well in that first game, and it was probably my fault that we didn't respond well to them coming out and kicking us in our face," Benson said. "That situation though woke something else up in us though and we won't be in a situation where we get caught off guard again."
The Eagles shot worse than 40 percent from the field in both halves that game – the only time the Eagles have been held below 40 percent for both halves of a game all year. In fact, the Eagles have been held below 40 percent shooting in just four halves all season (the first half in the opener against Lees-McRae and the first half of an OT win at Brevard).
In spite of the hype surrounding the game, Benson wants his squad to stay tuned to the little things.
"We stress to our guys to control the controllables and to trust in the process," Benson said. "Our guys know where we stand in it and what these games mean. But hopefully we'll have the focus to take care of business in the little things and not worry about overarching issues."
Carson-Newman and LMU tip at 8 p.m. on the road Wednesday. Pregame coverage begins at 7:45 p.m. on the Coca-Cola Eagle Sports Network with the Farm Bureau Countdown to Tipoff on ESPN The Zone 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com.