I Took the Windex to My Crystal Ball
After the games played on Wednesday and Thursday, I decided to try and clean the crystal ball with some Windex. I obviously saw some things wrongly through the clouds when I last looked, on the 21st.
The top four teams, UTEP, Memphis, UAB, and Marshall, play @ So. Miss., @ Houston, @UCF, and @ Rice, respectively. I see all four front runners winning those games. Houston hammered Memphis, and so UAB moved into a tie with Memphis with their win over UCF.
When I look at the games after that, UTEP plays Rice, Memphis plays So. Miss., UAB plays Tulane, and Marshall plays UCF. I see the top teams winning those games, too. I'm beginning to see the Golden Eagles, having gotten so close to beating the Miners, ambushing the Tigers while they are still smarting from the Houston loss. Confidence, or lack of, can make all the difference in the world, and Southern Miss plays a tough style of ball that will really mess with the Memphis style of play. The Golden Eagles are bruisers, and the Tigers are already bruised. UTEP and UAB will win their games.
Then it gets a little tougher to see through the clouds. That is when UTEP travels to Marshall, and Memphis heads on down to Alabama. I think, when I squint my eyes, I see UTEP winning, and Memphis winning their game against UAB. With the crystal cleaned, I see a fading Memphis losing to UAB. But, I still see UTEP beating Marshall.
So, after the next three games have been played, the top four teams don’t change their positions. Upon further review, after those three games have been played, here's what the standings will look like at the top of C-USA.
2. UAB 12-3
3. Marshall and Memphis at 10-5
The final games of the regular season have UAB coming to UTEP, where they will not have to go into overtime to get their loss, Memphis goes to Tulsa to prepare for the conference tournament by finishing off Tulsa’s disappointing regular season, and Marshall goes to Dallas to do what most teams do, and beat the Mustangs. This still looks the same.
At the end of the regular season the standings should look like this; Updated 2/25
So. Miss. 9-7
Which brings me to my Conference USA Bracketology. UTEP, Memphis, UAB, and Marshall get the first round byes. Let the tournament begin(well, you know, when it really does). Here are the match-ups as I see them.
1(5). Tulsa versus 8(16). Rice–Winner=Tulsa
2(6). So. Miss. versus 7(15). Tulane–Winner=So. Miss.
3(7). Houston versus 6(14). ECU–Winner=Houston
4(8). UCF versus 5(13). SMU–Winner=UCF
1. UTEP versus 8. UCF–Winner=UTEP
2. UAB versus 7. Houston–Winner=UAB
3. Memphis versus 6. So. Miss.–Winner=Memphis
4. Marshall versus 5. Tulsa–Winner=Tulsa
1. UTEP versus 5. Tulsa–Winner=UTEP
2. UAB versus 3. Memphis–Winner=UAB
1. UTEP versus 2. UAB–Winner=UTEP
UTEP wins regular season Conference USA championship, and the C-USA Tournament for the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. UTEP’s record entering the NCAA Tournament is 18-1 and 27-5.
UAB, based on their RPI, and their record of 15-5 and 26-7 overall receives an At Large invitation.
Memphis finishes 12-7 and 22-11 overall, goes to the NIT.
Marshall finishes 11-6 and 23-9 overall, and goes to either the NIT or the CBI.
Tulsa finishes 11-6 and 21-10 overall, and goes to the CBI.
Well, that’s what I see when I look into my crystal ball, I think. It gets pretty cloudy in there, especially the deeper into it I look. It got a little clearer after Wednesday's games, and the Windex. As I said, you folks take a look into yours and see what you can see.