Here we are in the last week of the regular season, and with 5 teams still in the hunt for the Conference USA title there is still much significant basketball to be played. Last week's game of the week between UTEP and Memphis turned out to hardly be the game of the week, as the Miners blew out the Tigers 74-47 in El Paso. This week's games should be a little more competitive. Here are this week's Conference USA games of the week.
5.) Memphis (21-8, 9-5) @ East Carolina (15-13, 7-7) 7:00 p.m. et, Wednesday March 2nd
Memphis took care of Houston on Tuesday, but got absolutely demolished 74-47 by UTEP on Saturday. The Pirates picked up two wins last week over UTEP and Rice, and will certainly want to keep that momentum going all the way into the conference tournament. Memphis should win this game, but if they aren't careful they could easily find themselves on the wrong end of this one.
OUTLOOK: Memphis is young, but not that young, Tigers 68-62.
4.) UTEP (21-8, 9-5) @ Southern Methodist (17-11, 8-6) 3:00 p.m. et, Saturday March 5th
This game features two teams that are still potentially fighting for a bye in the conference tourney. UTEP lost at home on Monday against UCF, then on the road Wednesday at ECU, but got back to their winning ways Saturday at home against Memphis. SMU played a couple of close games last week in an OT win against Rice, and a 64-62 loss at Marshall. This should be another close one.
OUTLOOK: UTEP should be back to playing Miner basketball, Miners 62-54.
3.) Southern Miss (21-7, 9-5) @ Tulsa (16-12, 9-5) 8:00 p.m. et, Saturday March 5th
This is one of two games that will be the last of the C-USA regular season. Not only that, but it could also have a profound impact on the seeding of the Conference USA tournament. Southern Miss beat Loyola, LA last week by 11, before dropping a close one at UCF. Tulsa was run out of the building in Huntington on Wednesday, but then returned home to defeat Tulane on Saturday. Both these teams are still alive to win the title, but after this game at least one of them won't be.
OUTLOOK: Southern Miss is too talented to falter this week, Golden Eagles 66-65.
2.) Marshall (20-9, 8-6) @ UTEP (21-8, 9-5) 9:05 p.m. et, Wednesday March 2nd
The Thundering Herd has made a late push to get themselves into contention for the C-USA title, but it may be too little too late. They have won 5 in a row, including last week's home games against Tulsa and SMU. UTEP had been in a bit of slump and dropped two games last week, before getting back on track against Memphis on Saturday. This should be a great one.
OUTLOOK: If the Miners play their shut down D no one can beat them, Miners 70-59.
1.) UAB (20-7, 10-4) @ Southern Miss (21-7, 9-5) 7:00 p.m. et, Wednesday March 2nd
There have been some big time matches this year in C-USA, but none with as much implications as this one. The Blazers knocked off UCF at home, and Houston on the road last week, and now find themselves alone in first place in conference. Southern Miss defeated division II Loyola, LA on their home court on Wednesday, before getting beat in the last seconds at UCF. The Blazers could all but wrap up the title after this one, or they could just leave the conference a bit jumbled.
OUTLOOK: It may be wishful thinking, but USM will get it done, Golden Eagles 67-62.
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