Conference USA Tournament bracket pairings finalized

DALLAS (Conference USA.com) – After earning its first Conference USA regular season championship, Old Dominion will be the No. 1 seed at the 2019 Air Force Reserve C-USA Basketball Championships presented by Baylor Scott & White Sports Performance Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

ODU men’s basketball, Ahmad Caver

The Monarchs won the regular season C-USA title with a conference record of 13-5 and an overall mark of 23-8, giving ODU its first regular-season conference championship since 2010.  As the top seed, Old Dominion will have a first-round bye at the championship.

2019 MBB Bracket

2019 Conference USA Men’s Basketball Championship Schedule
Ford Center at The Star, Frisco, Texas

Wednesday, March 13 6 p.m. CT
Court A
(8) Louisiana Tech vs. (9) Florida Atlantic ESPN+
Wednesday, March 13 6:30 p.m. CT
Court B
(5) UAB vs. (12) Middle Tennessee ESPN+
Wednesday, March 13 8:30 p.m. CT
Court A
(7) FIU vs. (10) North Texas ESPN+
Wednesday, March 13 9 p.m. CT
Court B
(6) Marshall vs. (11) Rice ESPN+
Thursday, March 14 6 p.m. CT
Court A
(1) Old Dominion vs. Louisiana Tech/Florida Atlantic Stadium
Thursday, March 14 6:30 p.m. CT
Court B
(4) UTSA vs. UAB/Middle Tennessee Stadium
Thursday, March 14 8:30 p.m. CT
Court A
(2) WKU vs. FIU/North Texas Stadium
Thursday, March 14 9 p.m. CT
Court B
(3) Southern Miss vs. Marshall/Rice Stadium
Friday, March 15 12:30 p.m. CT TBA vs. TBA CBSSN
Friday, March 15 3 p.m. CT TBA vs. TBA CBSSN
Saturday, March 16 7:30 p.m. CT TBA vs. TBA CBSSN

Other teams receiving first-round byes include No. 2 WKU, No. 3 Southern Miss and No. 4 UTSA.  Old Dominion will be attempting to win its first conference postseason tournament since 2011 and become just the fifth school in C-USA history to win the regular season and postseason titles in the same season.  WKU won eight of its last 10 to finish 12-6 in conference play, its best showing in league play as a C-USA member.  Southern Miss closed 11-7 in league action, its best showing since the 2013-14 season.  UTSA recorded an 11-7 league mark for the second straight season, but earned a first round bye for the first time as a member of C-USA.

Wednesday’s four-game action begins at 6 p.m. CT on Court A when No. 8 seed Louisiana Tech squares off with No. 9 seed Florida Atlantic.  The teams split two meetings this season, both played in Boca Raton.  The Owls took the initial meeting on Jan. 31, 69-61, led by former Bulldog Xavian Stapleton, who led all scorers with 19 points, and added nine rebounds for FAU.  LA Tech evened the season series with a 72-69 victory on March 6 (the Bulldogs last game) as Amorie Archibald scored all 16 of his points in the second stanza, while DaQuan Bracey finished with a game-high 21 points.

Next door on Court B, a third showdown this season between No. 5 seed UAB and No. 12 Middle Tennessee tips off at 6:30 p.m. The Blazers have played in all 24 C-USA Championships and will be seeking revenge on a Blue Raiders team that won both ends of a home-and-home on Jan. 30 and Feb. 2, winning by six points in Murfreesboro and one point in Birmingham.  Donovan Sims averaged 21 points and eight rebounds in the two victories for Middle Tennessee, while Zack Bryant averaged 23 points, 5.5 assists and 4 steals for UAB.

No. 7 seed FIU will face No. 10 North Texas at 8:30 p.m. in the first C-USA Championship meeting between the schools and the second matchup between the two teams in five days.  The Panthers won two regular season matchups in Miami, 69-59 on Feb. 16 and 73-58 on Saturday.  Brian Beard, Jr. was the star of both wins for the Panthers, averaging 23 points in the two games, including a 16.7 scoring average in the first half.  In the first meeting, D.J. Draper matched his season-high with 19 points and was one of four North Texas players to play all 40 minutes for the short-handed Mean Green.

No. 6 seed Marshall and No. 11 Rice will meet in the C-USA Championship for the first time since 2009 to finish Wednesday evening play at 9 p.m. CT on Court B.  The teams met in Houston on Feb. 9, with the Owls holding off a second half Thundering Herd comeback for a 74-69 victory.  Rice placed five players in double-figures, with Chris Mullins netting 12 to lead the way.  The trio of C.J. BurksJon Elmore and Jannson Williams combined for 51 of the Herd’s 69 points.

In Thursday’s quarterfinal round, No. 1 Old Dominion will take on the winner of the Louisiana Tech-Florida Atlantic game at 6 p.m. on Court A and No. 4 UTSA will face either UAB or Middle Tennessee beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Court B. No. 2 seed WKU will battle either FIU or North Texas at 8:30 p.m. on Court A, while No. 3 seed Southern Miss will close out Thursday night against the winner of the Marshall-Rice contest at 9 p.m. on Court B.

Coverage of the first round will be available through ESPN+, while the four quarterfinal games will be available on affiliates of Stadium and Facebook.  The semifinal games will be shown on CBS Sports Network at 12:30 p.m. and 3 pm (CT).  CBS Sports Network will also broadcast the championship game on Saturday, beginning at 7:30 p.m. (CT).

For more information on the 2019 Air Force Reserve C-USA Basketball Championships presented by Baylor Scott & White Sports Performance Center at The Star in Frisco and to purchase tickets, visit ConferenceUSA.com.

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