Last week proved to be a crazy one as UCF dropped its second consecutive contest, Memphis rebounded at home against Marshall, UAB lost its first conference game, and Tulsa and Houston moved up in the standings. This week should bring more of the same, and we'll definitely start to find out a little more where teams stand, especially Memphis. The Tigers are playing in two of this week's top 5 games. Here tare the games of the week.
5.) Tulsa (9-8, 2-1) @ Tulane (12-5, 2-2) 3:00 p.m. et, Saturday January 22nd
The Golden Hurricane are impossible to predict. Last week they barely even put up a fight at Arizona State, playing down about 20 points before finally waking up with 5 minutes to go, then they go home and beat league leader UAB by 16. The Hurricane are talented but need to be more consistent. Tulane comes in off two straight losses to UTEP, and ECU. They were 12-3 before that, but that was due mostly to a real soft schedule.
OUTLOOK: It'll be a close one, but Tulsa should win this one, 74-72.
4.) UTEP (15-4, 3-1) @ Houston (10-6, 2-1) 8:00 p.m. et, Saturday January 22nd
UTEP has been recently appointed the no. 1 team in the conference. They are undoubtedly playing the best basketball right now, winning their 3 conferences games fairly soundly, and losing their only one...well we all know how that one went down. Houston is coming alive as of late, winning four out of five, including a win over then undefeated UCF. Houston ALWAYS gives the Miners fits so look for more of that.
OUTLOOK: Its time to prove that we are still the best in conference, UTEP 76-68.
3.) Marshall (12-5, 1-2) @ West Virginia (12-4. 3-2) 8:00 p.m. et, Wednesday January 19th
Marshall comes in at 1-2 in conference off a loss against an apparently revived Memphis squad. Marshall played tough at then undefeated UCF, and just demolished one of the top teams in conference in Southern Miss. This is also C-USA's last chance to pick up another quality win versus a power 6 opponent. WVU is 12-4, and 3-2 in the jampacked Big East. In the last 10 days they won at no. 13 Georgetown, and at home versus no. 8 Purdue (yesterday). The Mountaineers have won 4 straight and are playing their best basketball of the season. Oh and they've got some guy Bob Huggins as their coach.
OUTLOOK: It's a rivalry so it'll stay fairly close, but WVU is too powerful, Mountaineers 82-69.
2.) Memphis (13-4, 2-1) @ Alabama-Birmingham (11-4, 1-1) 7:00 p.m. et, Saturday January 22nd
Its time to find out if Memphis has finally come around or not. The Tigers had a real big win on Saturday over Marshall 77-61. That's definitely a good sign, but this week will show A LOT more. UAB is coming into this off a 14 point loss at Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane are definitely a tough team, but that is certainly a win that you have to come up with. Loser of this one will just be that much farther behind in the grand scheme of things.
OUTLOOK: Memphis shows another sign of life, Tigers 76-71
1.) Memphis (13-4, 2-1) @ Southern Mississippi (14-3, 3-1) 7:00 p.m. et, Wednesday January 19th
Really, these top 2 games are a tie. They're both road games for Memphis against big time opponents, but the kicker here is Southern Miss is higher in the standings than UAB. Southern Miss has 14 wins on the season including some big ones at USF, at CAL, and most recently against UCF. The only problem with them is the fact that they got blown out by 30 at Marshall, and nearly lost at Rice (was down 7 with 2 minutes left in ot.).
OUTLOOK: Memphis wins another one, Tigers 75-68.
This week's bonus games are a tribute to ECU. The Pirates are 9-7, 1-1, but could EASILY have a much better record than that. They've got three big opportunities to make moves this week, and here they are.
B.) Alabama-Birmingham (11-4, 1-1) @ East Carolina (9-7. 1-1) 7:00 p.m. et, Monday January 17th
UAB is coming off a tough loss at Tulsa, while ECU is coming off a big win over Tulane. If UAB isn't careful the Pirates will win this one.
OUTLOOK: Mike Davis has his troops prepared, Blazers 69-63.
B.) East Carolina (9-7, 1-1) @ Central Florida (14-2, 1-2) 7:00 p.m. et, Wednesday January 19th
UCF cannot afford to drop another game here as they've already lost two in a row. ECU will put up a good fight, and it might be different at home, but the Knights are too much for them in Orlando.
OUTLOOK: UCF picks one up after two straight losses, Knights 73-62.
B.) East Carolina (9-7, 1-1) @ Marshall (12-5, 1-2) 7:00 p.m. et, Saturday January 22nd
Marshall has a tough one at West Virginia on Wednesday before returning home to take on the Pirates. ECU has two games this week before this one, and may be a little fatigued by Saturday's tip.
OUTLOOK: Marshall sends ECU to 0-3 for the week, Herd 71-65.
It's moving time for a couple of teams in Conference USA, namely Memphis and ECU. Memphis has a chance to tell the world (well maybe just the C-USA world) that they are back, as they have two huge games this week against top opponents. We'll find out if Coach Josh Pastner finally got his team in gear. East Carolina is in the middle of the pack, but has lost a handful of close games that would have made their season look at lot better so far. They've got three opportunities this week to prove that they are for real. As always, this should be another exciting week of C-USA basketball so be on the lookout for the games of the week.