After yesterday's action in Conference USA, the tournament's top seed has gone missing thanks to the efforts of the East Carolina PIrates. It's unlikely that the UAB Blazers have a good enough resume to get them into the NCAA Tournament as an at-large, so this loss may have sent them straight to the N.I.T.
It also marked the end of the Houston teams in the tournament, though Rice stayed a little longer than some thought they would by knocking off SMU on Wednesday. The Houston Cougars will likely not be invited to any NCAA Tourney, Rice has a shot. Instead we've got the old powerhouse Memphis against up-start East Carolina, and the hometown UTEP Miners against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Here's how the bracket looks now:
8 East Carolina Pirates 64 vs.
9 Central Florida Knights 50
5 Southern Miss. Golden Eagles 63 vs.
12 Tulane Green Wave 47 11 Houston Cougars 87vs. 6 Marshall 97
10 Rice Owls 58 vs.
7 SMU Mustangs 57
1 UAB Blazers 70vs.8 East Carolina Pirates 75
4 Memphis Tigers 66 vs.
5 Southern Miss. Golden Eagles 63
3 UTEP Miners 77 vs.
6 Marshall Thundering Herd 65
2 Tulsa Golden Hurricane 81 vs.
10 Rice Owls 72
3 UTEP Miners vs. 2 Tulsa Golden Hurricane -- 3:00 PM
8 East Carolina Pirates vs. 4 Memphis Tigers -- 5:30 PM
Championship -- 10:30 AM
Both matchups today should be decent ones, but statistically speaking, someone is bound to get upset today. After all, there was one upset on each of the previous two days. I'll ride the hot hand and say that East Carolina upsets a Memphis team that just barely squeaked by Southern Mississippi yesterday. UTEP takes care of business to reach the final and set themselves up as a heavy favorite tomorrow.
Both games will be televised on CBS College Sports, so check them out on your set, online, or at a bar TV if neither of those options sound appealing to you.