C-USA Women's Basketball Championship Set
March 7, 2014
IRVING, Texas - Middle Tennessee captured the Conference USA regular season title and the No. 1 seed at the 2014 Conference USA Women's Basketball Championship, March 11-15 at Memorial Gym and the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas. The 22nd-ranked Blue Raiders finished their first year in the league with an impressive 15-1 conference record and an overall mark of 26-4, winning a conference title for the second straight season and the fourth time in five seasons. The top four seeds receive a double-bye into the quarterfinals of the 16-team tournament.
Southern Miss captured the No. 2 seed with a 13-3 league record and a school-record 24 regular-season victories (24-5). The Golden Eagles were picked to finish 13th in the preseason poll, but ended up tying the program's highest tournament seed in school history. USM also earned the No. 2 seed in the inaugural year of the league (1995-96). Southern Miss enters championship week riding an 11-game winning streak.
Host UTEP earned the No. 3 seed with a 12-4 conference record. The Miners sport an overall record of 23-6, with 16 of those victories coming inside the Dan Haskins Center (16-1). UTEP will hope to take advantage of its double-round bye in order to get injured star player Kayla Thornton back on the court for postseason play.
Tulane claims the final top four seed at 11-5. The Green Wave is the most decorated program in the league with four C-USA regular season and five tournament titles. Tulane (20-9) has produced 12 20-win seasons since joining the league as an original member in 1995-96.
The opening three rounds will be played inside legendary Memorial Gym before moving across the street to the Don Haskins Center for the semifinals and championship game. Both venues are located on UTEP's campus.
Tuesday's four first-round match-ups feature No. 9 Florida Atlantic vs. No. 16 Marshall at 11 a.m. MDT, followed by No. 12 Rice vs. No. 13 FIU at 1:30 p.m. MDT. The final two games on opening day highlight No. 11 North Texas vs. No. 14 Louisiana Tech at 5 p.m. MDT and defending tournament champion No. 10 Tulsa vs. No. 15 UTSA with a final tip of 7:30 p.m. MDT.
Second-round tip times mirror opening day as Wednesday's games start with No. 8 UAB facing the winner of the FAU/Marshall matchup, followed by fifth-seeded East Carolina taking on the winner of Rice/FIU in the afternoon. The evening session games will feature No. 6 Charlotte vs. North Texas or Louisiana Tech while No. 7 Old Dominion will face the advancing team from the Tulsa/UTSA game.
In Thursday's quarterfinal round the league's top four teams will be in action as No. 1 seed Middle Tennessee opens the day at 11 a.m., followed by No. 4 seed Tulane. Host and No. 3 seed UTEP takes the court at 5 p.m., followed by No. 2 seed Southern Miss at 7:30 p.m. MDT.
First, second and quarterfinal round games on Tuesday, March 11, Wednesday, March 12 and Thursday, March 13 will air on the C-USA Digital Network. The Friday semifinal games will be shown on CBS Sports Network at 9 and 11:30 a.m. (MDT). CBS Sports Network will also broadcast the championship game on Saturday at 6 p.m. (MDT).
To subscribe to the C-USA Digital Network visit http://www.conferenceusa.com/allaccess/.