The Rice Owls will open the 2012 Conference USA Championship on Wednesday, March 7 at noon CT against tenth seeded East Carolina. The Pirates finished 5-11 on the season in conference play but won the only regular season matchup against the Owls 82-68. Rice finished at .500 in conference play with an 8-8 record.
Looking ahead, if Rice can get past East Carolina they will take on the No. 2 seed in Southern Miss on Thursday. The Eagles defeated Rice in the only regular season meeting 58-56. Southern Miss earned the two seed in the tournament by going 11-5 in conference play.
Here is a look at the rest of the first-round matchups for Wednesday, March 7:
(7) Rice vs. (10) East Carolina (CSS) 12:00p
(6) Marshall vs. (11) SMU (CSS) 2:30p
(8) UTEP vs. (9) Houston (CSS) 6:30p
(5) UAB vs. (12) Tulane (CSS) 9:00p
For more on this game and the Conference USA Championship, head on over to SB Nation's College Basketball page.