Last week held true to the Conference USA way, as teams continued to beat up on each other. UTEP and Memphis both suffered their second loss in conference on Saturday, UCF continued its slide, and the pack gained ground on the leaders. With 7 teams within a game of first place, C-USA is now completely up for grabs. Here are this week's games of the week.
5.) Tulsa (11-10, 4-3) @ Memphis (16-5, 5-2) 7:00 p.m. et, Wednesday February 2nd
The Golden Hurricane is coming off a huge win over UTEP on Saturday. Justin Hurtt knocked down an amazing go ahead bucket with 6.8 seconds left, and Tulsa escaped with the victory. However, the loss at home to SMU earlier in the week shows the inconsistency of this team. Memphis handed UCF its 5th straight loss on Wednesday, before getting completely handled from start to finish in Huntington, WV.
OUTLOOK: Memphis is too strong in the FedEx Forum, Tigers 73-64.
4.) Marshall (14-7, 2-4) @ Southern Miss (16-5, 5-3) 6:00 p.m. et, Saturday February 5th
The Thundering Herd looked great on Saturday at home against Memphis, dismissing the Tigers 75-60. They also played tough at UAB on Wednesday, before dropping that decision 60-56. Southern Miss got a couple of much needed wins last week dropping ECU 84-77 on the road, before returning home to take care of Tulane 67-54. Both teams have road Wednesday before this meeting on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: Southern Miss got embarrassed in Huntington, look for the to return the favor, Golden Eagles 78-66.
3.) Central Florida (14-6, 1-6) @ UTEP (17-5, 5-2) 9:00 p.m. et, Wednesday February 2nd
The Knights dropped two more contests last week to extend their losing streak to 6. In their defense they were tough games, both against league leaders. UCF lost at Memphis by 16, before returning home to drop their contest against UAB 74-69. UTEP dropped Tulane at home on Wednesday 69-65, before taking a huge hit at Tulsa on Saturday. RC3 hit the a go ahead 3 with 20 seconds to go, but Justin Hurtt answered that great shot with one of his own with just over 6 seconds to play. That turned out to be the game winner. For the Knights, its not a matter of if their streak will end, its when their streak will end. Let's hope its not Wednesday.
OUTLOOK: UTEP and Tim Floyd will get back on track, the Knights streak extends to 7, Miners 73-58.
2.) Southern Miss (16-5, 5-3) @ UAB (15-5, 5-2) 8:00 p.m. et, Wednesday
These two squads were two of only three C-USA teams to win both of their games last week. UAB dropped Marshall and UCF to get back into a tie for first with UTEP and Memphis, while Southern Miss used its wins to stay a mere half game back in the league race. This game will either send the Go
lden Eagles a couple steps down the ladder, or clog things up even more at the top.
OUTLOOK: The Blazers are extremely tough at home, and USM isn't so strong on the road, Blazers 66-61.
1.) Memphis (16-5, 5-2) @ Gonzaga (14-8, 4-3) 4:00 p.m. et, Saturday February 5th
Memphis had gotten back on track, winning 4 straight, before getting handled by 15 at Marshall. The Tigers will play Tulsa on Wednesday before making the trip Spokane, WA to take on the Zags. Gonzaga came into this season like they've come into most seasons as of late, highly ranked in the top 25. That didn't last too long as the Bulldogs struggled early losing games to San Diego State, Kansas State, Illinois, Washington Sate, and Notre Dame. The Zags then pulled it together with wins over Baylor, Xavier, and Oklahoma State heading into conference play. After winning 9 straight, and starting 3-0 in conference, Gonzaga then dropped three straight at the hands of Santa Clara, San Fransisco, and St. Mary's. Most recently, the Dogs demolished San Diego 86-53, and will take on Portland on Wednesday before Saturday's matchup. This is a huge game for Memphis, and Conference USA. Gonzaga is as on the bubble as it gets, and a loss here would be completely devastating for the Tigers.
OUTLOOK: Memphis REALLLLLLY needs this one, Tigers 71-68.
East Carolina (12-9, 4-3) @ SMU (13-8, 4-3) 8:00 p.m. et, Wednesday February 2nd
Both these teams have worked themselves into a spot one game back of the league leaders, and more importantly ECU is working themselves into the top 100 RPI (107). The Pirates lost 84-77 to USM on Wednesday, but rebounded on Saturday to drop Houston 74-70. SMU has won three in a row, including two on the road last week at Tulsa, and at Rice, and the Mustangs are quickly making themselves relevant in C-USA play.
OUTLOOK: The Pirates need to find a way to win this one, ECU 69-68.
Conference USA is in a complete logjam, and I'm not sure this week's matchups will clear anything up. February is here and conference play is about half way done. Its time to start picking up as many wins as possible, cause every one of them will help come March.