You have questions and we have answers heading into the Conference USA men’s basketball tournament, which tips off Tuesday.
WHO ARE THE FAVORITES?
- Key question: Which team in C-USA can stand up to the Birmingham Bullies and their dominating interior defense? Can anyone beat UAB in Birmingham?
- Key stats: 3BPG (No. 2 NCAA), William Lee 3.1BPG (T3 NCAA); +4.8 rebound margin (No. 3 C USA); UAB has won 28 in a row in Birmingham.
- Key question: Can anyone stop coach Kermit Davis and the Blue Raiders, who boast two of the best shooters in the country?
- Key stats: Overall 39% 3PT (No. 27 NCAA), Conference 40% 3PT (No. 2 C-USA); Giddy Potts: 49.3% 3PT (No. 2 NCAA); Darnell Harris: 40.8% 3PT (No. 8 C-USA).
- Key questions: Who wants to guard the dynamic James Kelly 1-on-1? What C-USA team can slow down the Herd’s thundering offense?
- Key stats: 92.0PPG (No. 1 C-USA), James Kelly 23.1PPG (No. 2 C-USA)
- Key question: How do you stop Eric Konkol’s Bulldogs on a roll in C-USA?
- Key stats: Started 2-3, 73.6PPG, +2.8PPG scoring margin in C-USA, finished 10-3, 81.9PPG, +6.0PPG scoring margin.
WHO ELSE COULD MAKE A RUN?
- If guard play wins in March, Trey Freeman (above) and Aaron Bacote can deliver a C-USA title for Old Dominion.
- UTEP’s Tim Floyd can coach. Can he guide his young core of Miners to a C-USA championship?
- Western Kentucky typically peak in March as they have won four of their last five. Could four-time national championship coach Ray Harper (2x NAIA, 2X NCAA D-2) and WKU surprise the field?
- Can rookie head coach Mark Price of Charlotte drive his NBA offense to a net-cutting ceremony?
- Can Rice freshman Marcus Evans finish off a spectacular first season and deliver the Owls to the promise land?
- FIU boasts one of the great shot blockers in the country in Adrian Diaz (3.0 per game). Can Diaz and FIU ‘D’eliver in Birmingham?
PROJECTED AUTOMATIC BID