Men's Basketball to battle Rice Wednesday in First Round of C-USA Championships
Golden Eagles ready for next big step for the program
IRVING, Texas -- Conference USA has unveiled its bracket for the 2017 Men's Basketball Championship presented by MetroPCS (March 8-11). Southern Miss has been paired up with Rice for a Wednesday showdown at 2 p.m. CT inside Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Ala. The game will also air on CampusInsiders.
This marks a new era for the Black and Gold after being held out of the tournament for two consecutive years due to NCAA sanctions. Doc Sadler has helped lead the program to back-to-back seasons of improved win totals within league play (3-5-6), including a 76-53 win at North Texas last Saturday that clinched Southern Miss' bid. That game also served as the most lopsided road victory for Southern Miss in its three years under Sadler.
The No. 12 seeded-Golden Eagles will look to get revenge on the No. 5 Owls after two heartbreaking losses this season. The first, back on Jan. 21 in Hattiesburg, saw Southern Miss rally from a 42-18 deficit with 16 minutes to play and come within a full-court shot off the rim of forcing overtime.
Just two days prior to the aforementioned North Texas game, Southern Miss trailed Rice 52-34 with 13 minutes left and completed the comeback only to fall in the final overtime second, 72-71.
Should the Golden Eagles win their first-round game, it will be another 2 p.m. game Thursday against No. 4 UTEP in the quarterfinals on American Sports Network.
1. Middle Tennessee
2. Louisiana Tech
3. Old Dominion
11. Florida Atlantic
12. Southern Miss