It’s tournament time! Three things you should know about the Conference USA women’s tournament, which tips off Tuesday.
C-USA Coach of the Year Keitha Adams and her squad (25-3, 16-2 C-USA) have had quite the year. They head into the C-USA tournament as the top seed, having clinched the regular-season title, and rank 25th nationally in the Coaches Poll. However, amongst the top six teams in the standings they’re the only team entering the tournament with a loss. The Miners dropped their last regular-season game at UTSA. Adams said her team just didn’t play well. There’s no time for that in the tourney – UTEP has to lock in and focus. Keep an eye on Louisville transfer Starr Breedlove, C-USA’s Newcomer of the Year.
Michelle Clark and the Hilltoppers are the reigning C-USA champions and that status is always an advantage. Kendall Noble, who picked up C-USA Player and Defensive Player of Year honors was a contributor in last year’s tournament championship and knows how to perform on the big stage. Even though this roster is much younger this year, with Clark at the helm they’re still a force to be reckoned with. Don’t sleep on the Hilltoppers.
Alex Johnson, C-USA’s Freshman of the Year, led the Blue Raiders to the tournament’s No. 2 seed. A focal point in the potent Middle Tennessee attack, she averaged 11.6 points per game and 3.6 rebounds per contest. In conference play, she averaged nearly 15 points per game.
THREE CONTENDERS AND A WILD CARD
- Charlotte: 2:30 p.m. ET Thursday vs. Old Dominion-Florida Atlantic/North Texas winner
- Old Dominion: 2:30 Wednesday vs. Florida Atlantic-North Texas winner
- Marshall: 8:30 p.m. ET Wednesday vs. Florida Atlantic-UTSA winner
- Neutral site: Conference tournaments present a fresh new challenge, so don’t get too comfortable with standings. Home-court advantage is no longer a factor, except for tournament host UAB, the No. 8 seed. The best road warriors in the conference are the teams to watch. Upsets love neutral sites — suddenly a team finds a new fan base because they’re rooting for the upset and a more favorable pairing for their team. Enjoy.
PROJECTED AUTOMATIC BID