About 10 games remain in most teams’ Conference USA schedule, but the regular-season champion could come down to tonight’s Memphis-Southern Mississippi game.
The Golden Eagles (19-3, 6-1 in C-USA) rarely have a season like this. They’ve been to two NCAA tournaments, won the NIT once (back in ‘87) and haven’t been a player in C-USA since it joined. Last year began promising, but they dropped four of their last seven regular-season games.
But Southern Miss has found its niche thanks to an offense that takes care of the ball, shoots the 3 well and hits the offensive glass. The defense can be soft, but it’s been good enough. It’ll have its hands full tonight, though.
(All times ET; TV info from HDSportsGuide.com)
Memphis at Southern Miss, 8 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
The Tigers (15-6, 6-1) won the earlier meeting between the two and feature the league’s best player in sophomore Will Barton (18.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg). The 6-6 wing dumped 29 points on Marshall last weekend as Memphis won for the ninth time in the last 10 games. If there’s a bright side for the Eagles, it’s that the Tigers’ depth took a hit when freshmen forward Adonis Thomas went down with a knee injury two weeks ago. Maybe that’ll be the opening that helps Southern Miss snap its 18-game losing streak to Memphis.
Indiana at Michigan, 6:30 p.m. (BTN)
Two teams with vastly different styles – the Hoosiers (17-5) love to run, get it inside to Cody Zeller and hustle for points anywhere it can; the Wolverines (16-6) play slower, shoot a lot of 3s and rely on guards Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway – vie in what could be the best game of the night. Winner gets to stay in the Big Ten race.
Connecticut at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
UConn (14-6) got freshman Ryan Boatright back for Sunday’s game against Notre Dame, but it didn’t help. So the Huskies will tweak the starting lineup, plugging Boatright and forward Roscoe Smith in place of Shabazz Napier and Alex Oriakhi. Will it be enough to steal one from the Hoyas (16-4), one of the season’s most consistent teams?
Wichita State at Missouri State, 8 p.m. (COX-Kansas)
Tough game for the Shockers (18-4, 9-2 in Missouri Valley) who are one game behind Creighton in the MVC standings. (Then again, every road game in the Valley is tough.) The Bears (13-10) are the only MVC team who’s beaten Creighton and feature all-league everything Kyle Weems.
Baylor at Texas A&M, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
The Bears (19-2) have won at tougher places (BYU, Northwestern) and beaten better teams (SDSU, West Virginia, St. Mary’s) this season, but there’s a certain amount of pause related to this game. The Aggies (12-8) have been one of the season’s biggest disappointments, but have played better the last three games. Beware, Bears.
Colorado State at UNLV, 10:30 p.m. (the mtn)
If you thought the Rams (14-6) would give SDSU its first conference loss, take a bow. And stop lying. Now, if you think they’ll win at UNLV (20-3), you’re nuts. But I have to admit … I’m intrigued.
UMBC at Albany (NY), 7 p.m.
Vermont at Boston U., 7 p.m.
Ball St. at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
George Mason at Delaware, 7 p.m.
Xavier at George Washington, 7 p.m.
UConn at Georgetown, 7 p.m.
Towson at Hofstra, 7 p.m.
Charlotte at La Salle, 7 p.m.
Colgate at NJIT, 7 p.m.
Hartford at New Hampshire, 7 p.m.
Drexel at Northeastern, 7 p.m.
Rutgers at Providence, 7 p.m.
UMass at Rhode Island, 7 p.m.
Binghamton at Stony Brook, 7 p.m.
Fordham at Temple, 7 p.m.
NC State at Boston College, 8 p.m.
SMU at East Carolina, 7 p.m.
Georgia Tech at Florida St., 7 p.m.
Davidson at Furman, 7 p.m.
Tulane at Marshall, 7 p.m.
Saint Joseph’s at Richmond, 7 p.m.
Georgia St. at UNC Wilmington, 7 p.m.
VCU at William & Mary, 7 p.m.
Texas A&M-CC at Nicholls St., 7:30 p.m.
Georgia at Auburn, 8 p.m.
Maryland at Miami, 8 p.m.
Lamar at SE Louisiana, 8 p.m.
Memphis at Southern Miss., 8 p.m.
Houston at UAB, 9 p.m.
Indiana at Michigan, 6:30 p.m.
Toledo at Akron, 7 p.m.
Duquesne at Dayton, 7 p.m.
Oakland at IUPUI, 7 p.m.
E. Michigan at Miami (Ohio), 7 p.m.
Bowling Green at W. Michigan, 7 p.m.
Evansville at Bradley, 8 p.m.
Drake at Indiana St., 8 p.m.
Ohio at N. Illinois, 8 p.m.
St. Bonaventure at Saint Louis, 8 p.m.
Illinois St. at Creighton, 8:05 p.m.
Wichita St. at Missouri St., 8:05 p.m.
St. John’s at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
Minnesota at Iowa, 8:30 p.m.
Oklahoma at Kansas, 9 p.m.
Northwestern St. at Cent. Arkansas, 8 p.m.
UTEP at Rice, 8 p.m.
McNeese St. at Sam Houston St., 8 p.m.
Texas St. at Stephen F. Austin, 8 p.m.
Wyoming at TCU, 8 p.m.
UTSA at Texas-Arlington, 8 p.m.
Baylor at Texas A&M, 9 p.m.
CS Bakersfield at New Mexico St., 8:30 p.m.
Boise St. at San Diego St., 10 p.m.
Colorado St. at UNLV, 10:30 p.m.
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