Buckle up, we’re in for a wild final week in Conference USA hoops.
Seeds 3 through 12 are still undecided and some pivotal games are lined up to decide them. A six-game slate Thursday and seven more on Saturday will determine the matchups come March 8-11 at the conference tournament.
The battle for the Middle-less side of the bracket
We can all agree that no team wants to be on Middle Tennessee’s side of the bracket this year at the Conference USA tournament. As they proved in their 66-64 win over UAB Sunday in Birmingham and their run through the tournament last season, the Blue Raiders are the current mayors of Bluemingham (ed. note: I can’t believe we’re putting Bluemingham in stories now).
No game will mean more this week than Old Dominion at UTEP on Thursday. The Miners and Monarchs are on four- and five-game win streaks respectively, which is all the more reason not to miss this beIN Sports broadcasted game at 7 p.m. CT Thursday. This game will be one that the first to 50 points will likely win, as both reside in the top-five of the KenPom conference-only defensive ratings. UTEP hasn’t allowed an opponent to score more than 62 in the Don Haskins Center since Dec. 21 and Old Dominion plays at the slowest tempo in the conference.
Week 8 Player of the Week
Ahmad Caver | Sophomore, Guard | Old Dominion
Caver led the Monarchs to home wins over Charlotte and Western Kentucky behind his combined 31 points, 14 assists, and six made threes. For the fourth straight game, the sophomore point guard was awarded the KenPom MVP.