What-to-know tourney previews: C-USA
It's Memphis ... and then everybody else.
1. Can anybody in this league beat Memphis?
Probably not. Remember, the Tigers went 16-0 in C-USA. The worst team they lost to at FedExForum or on a neutral court all season is Minnesota, and Minnesota is twice as good as any C-USA outfit. In other words, asking the Tigers to lose in this event amounts to asking them to do something they quite literally haven't done all season. So keep that in mind as you fill out your C-USA bracket (provided you have a C-USA bracket).
2. So what seed will Memphis get in the NCAA tournament if it wins this?
A C-USA championship will have Memphis sitting at 30-4 on Selection Sunday, which is strong. But the Tigers will still be lacking in the department of quality wins, and that's almost certainly going to cost them on Selection Sunday. Yes, Memphis is ranked 20th in the AP poll, but there's a good chance that won't mesh with their seed in the Field of 68. My guess? The Tigers will win out and get a six seed, seven at worst. Then we'll see if they can advance and give Josh Pastner his first NCAA tournament victory.
3. Are you sure Southern Miss can't make it?
The Golden Eagles were a borderline Top 25/projected NCAA tournament team a little more than a month ago. But they lost four of their final nine C-USA games, and so now they're just a team with a decent RPI (35) but with an 0-5 record against the top 50. USM's best win: Denver. USM's second-best win: East Carolina. So the Golden Eagles have no chance at an at-large bid. Their only path to the NCAA tournament involves them taking C-USA's automatic bid, which would probably require a win over Memphis early Saturday.
Schedule: All games at BOK Center in Tulsa. March 13 (opening round); March 14 (quarterfinals); March 15 (semifinals); March 16 (title game).
Title game: Saturday, March 16, at 11:35 a.m. ET on CBS.
THREE BEST PLAYERS
Conference RPI: 11
KenPom.com rating: 11
Sagarin rating: 11
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