Rice and Houston travel to Pearl, MS this week for the Conference USA Tournament, and SBNation Houston has you covered on all of the pre-tourney info.
The tournament will consist of everybody but Marshall, who finished a half-game behind Houston. Unlike the SEC and Big 12 tournaments which are double elimination, the C-USA tournament will split the teams into two groups (or pods) with the winners playing for the championship:
Each team is guaranteed to play three games. Teams in each pod will play all three other teams in its pod. The team with the best composite record in each pod advances to the championship game. Two-way ties in a pod will be broken by head-to-head play. In the case of a three-way tie, the highest seed will advance.
Pod 1 will consist of #1 Rice, #4 Southern Miss, #5 Memphis, and #8 Houston. Pod 2 has #2 UCF, #3 Tulane, #6 East Carolina, and #7 UAB.
The schedule looks like this:
Wednesday, May 23
Game 1 (5) Memphis vs. (4) Southern Miss 11:00a
Game 2 (8) Houston vs. (1) Rice 3:00p
Game 3 (6) East Carolina vs. (3) Tulane 7:00p
Thursday, May 24
Game 4 (7) UAB vs. (2) UCF 11:00a
Game 5 (8) Houston vs. (4) Southern Miss 3:00p
Game 6 (5) Memphis vs. (1) Rice 7:00p
Friday, May 25
Game 7 (7) UAB vs. (3) Tulane 11:00a
Game 8 (6) East Carolina vs. (2) UCF 3:00p
Game 9 (8) Houston vs. (5) Memphis 7:00p
Saturday, May 26
Game 10 (3) Tulane vs. (2) UCF 11:00a
Game 11 (7) UAB vs. (6) East Carolina 3:00p
Game 12 (4) Southern Miss vs. (1) Rice 7:00p
Sunday, May 27 (televised by CBS Sports Network)
Championship Game 1:00p
Who Are The Teams To Watch?
For the last 16 years, that question has been answered with "Rice", and this year is no different. The Owls are in good shape to host a regional in the NCAA Tournament after winning every series in C-USA play. It would be huge news if they aren't in the championship Sunday. Memphis has been on a tear lately, winning 11 of the last 14 with a series win over UCF and sweeps of UAB and Houston.UCF is the favorite to win Pod 2, but East Carolina could make a run and make it to the championship.
What Is This "Pearl, Mississippi"?
It's a suburb of Jackson, and home to Trustmark Park and the AA Mississippi Braves. They've got a great stadium and there's a Bass Pro Shop next door. That's about it. If you do go, eat at Parlor Market in downtown Jackson.
Can I Watch Any Of These Games On TV?
The championship will be aired by CBS Sports Network, and all other games will be streamed live on ConferenceUSA.com.