Saturday 3/5 Games
*Rankings are current Conference USA tournament seeds*
NOTE – UAB is locked into the 1 seed and FAU and UTSA are locked in the 12th and 13th seeds respectively.
Old Dominion (5th) at Rice (8th)
Old Dominion escaped Denton with a 75-70 win over North Texas Thursday. Trey Freeman’s 24 points were complemented by junior guard Denzell Taylor’s 12. Taylor scored in double figures for the first time since mid-December. The Monarch’s hit more than 4 three-pointers for the first time in six games.
- How far can the Monarchs fall? ODU can’t fall lower than the 5 seed.
- How far can the Monarchs move up? ODU can get to the 3 seed if Marshall and La Tech lose and the Monarchs and Blue Raiders win.
Rice has a Charlotte problem. The inside out game of Uchebo and Ogbueze is just too much for the Owls to handle at home or on the road. Marcus Evans continued his brilliant play scoring 27 in the loss.
- How far can the Owls fall? If Rice loses to Old Dominion at home they could fall back to the 11 seed if North Texas, FIU, and WKU all win. North Texas and Rice would be tied at 7-11 and the Mean Green’s win over La Tech would break the head-to-head tie.
- How far can Owls move up? Rice cannot move up further than the 8 seed.
UTSA (13th) at UTEP (7th)
UTSA beat the Miners in San Antonio back in January 71-67. The Roadrunners aren’t winning tomorrow in El Paso. UTSA is locked into the 13 seed.
UTEP’s 6-game win streak came to and end last week in Norfolk. The Miners dropped road games at ODU and Charlotte. Coach Floyd seems to be locked into his guard-heavy lineup going forward. Despite the road losses, the Miners are still in good shape to make some moves in the tournament in Birmingham next week.
- How far can the Miners fall? UTEP can fall no further than the 7 seed.
- How far can the Miners move up? UTEP can secure the 6 seed with a win over UTSA and a Charlotte loss. The Miners can rest easy knowing they will be on the opposite side of the bracket from UAB no matter what happens tomorrow.
Middle Tennessee (3rd) at Florida International (9th)
MTSU took care of business Thursday in Boca Raton in a 17 point win over FAU 76-59. The Blue Raiders lost star guard Giddy Potts for the rest of the season due to concussion complications. Senior forward Perrin Buford has seemingly put this team on his back. Buford scored 21 and 18 in the past two Blue Raider wins.
- How far can the Blue Raiders fall? Middle Tennessee can fall no further than the 4 seed.
- How far can the Blue Raiders move up? MTSU can secure the 2 seed with a win over FAU and a La Tech loss to WKU.
FIU‘s 17 point loss to UAB Thursday was their worst home loss since losing to Louisville in Miami 85-56 in 2013.
- How far can the Golden Panthers fall? FIU can drop to the 11 seed if they lose to Middle Tennessee and North Texas beats Charlotte. FIU and North Texas would both finish 7-11 and the Mean Green would hold the tie breaker.
- How far can the Golden Panthers move up? FIU could move up to the 8 seed with a win over Middle Tennessee and both Rice and WKU losing.
Louisiana Tech (2nd) at Western Kentucky (10th)
Louisiana Tech beat Marshall Thursday in Huntington in a way you have to see to believe.
- How far can the Bulldogs fall? La Tech could fall to the 4 seed. The Herdzone link provided below lists the scenarios.
- How far can the Bulldogs move up? If La Tech beats WKU and Middle Tennessee loses to FIU they’d secure the 2 seed.
Western Kentucky beat Southern Miss 75-60 Thursday in Bowling Green in a game that the Hilltoppers dominated from start to finish. Aaron Cosby hit 7 three-pointers and is averaging 15.8 points over the past five games.
- How far can the Hilltoppers fall? WKU can fall no further than the 10 seed. If North Texas and WKU are tied at 7-11, the Hilltoppers would own the head-to-head tie breaker.
- How far can the Hilltoppers move up? If both Rice and FIU lose tomorrow, WKU would move to the 8 seed with a win.
Southern Miss (N/A) at Marshall (4th)
Marshall lost to La Tech Thursday at home. The previous video tells you all you need to know.
- How far can the Herd fall? Marshall could fall to the 5 seed if they and La Tech lose and ODU and Middle Tennessee win.
- How far can the Herd move up? Marshall could move up to the 3 seed. I could write it all out but it would be easier to read Herdzone’s breakdown HERE.
Charlotte (6th) at North Texas (11th)
Charlotte finally released their road demons in a dominating win over Rice 88-75 Thursday in Houston. Junior guard Braxton Ogbueze went nuts with 30 points that included 8 three pointers.
- How far can the 49ers fall? Charlotte can fall no lower than the 7 seed. For this to happen, the 49ers would have to lose at North Texas and have UTEP beat UTSA in El Paso.
- How far can the 49ers move up? Charlotte can move no higher than the 6 seed.
North Texas is in real danger of losing their final two games of the season at home. The Mean Green will have to score in bunches with the 49ers, which hasn’t been one of their strong points. If North Texas can get Uchebo in foul trouble early, they’ll have a chance.
- How far can the Mean Green fall? North Texas can fall no further than the 11 seed.
- How far can the Mean Green move up? North Texas’ only chance to move up would be to get in a 3-way tie with FIU and Rice at 7-11. In that situation North Texas could move up to the 9 seed given their tie breakers over the two.