HOUSTON (CBS-Houston) – All sixteen teams will meet in Memphis beginning Wednesday with the objective of winning Conference USA and earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, aka, The Big Dance. Fed Ex Forum, home of the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies, serves as the venue.
The number one seed in this year’s tournament is Memphis. The other three top seeds in order are Southern Miss, Tulsa, and Central Florida. Those four seeds will receive a first-round bye and play the winners of Wednesday’s four opening round matchups on Thursday.
Number 7 seed Rice will face 10th seed East Carolina to tip off the tournament. That matchup gets underway at noon on CSS. In fact, all four first round matchups will broadcast live on CSS. The winner will face number 2 seed Southern Miss. Matchup number two has 6th seed Marshall facing 11th seed SMU. The winner will play Tulsa.
Number 8 UTEP and number 9 Houston will square off in the third matchup scheduled for 6:30 with the winner taking on top-seed Memphis. The nightcap will feature number 5 UAB and number 12 Tulane. The winner will face Central Florida.
HOW DO THEY STACK UP
Memphis is the number one scoring team in C-USA averaging 73.1 points per game. The best free throw shooting team is Southern Miss which connects on 74% of their free opportunities. Memphis leads the conference with 49.5% field goal accuracy, while Tulsa is tops in the conference at 38% from the 3-point line.