Championship Week Preview- Conference USA

CONFERENCE USA TOURNAMENT PREVIEW

Locks

  • UTEP

Bubble

  • Memphis- Beat UAB in a potential semifinal game
  • UAB- Beat Memphis in a potential semifinal game

3 Players to Watch

  1. Aubrey Coleman (Houston)- An electrifying and fun player to watch.  He leads college basketball in scoring, averaging 26.0 ppg.
  2. Elliot Willliams (Memphis)- Williams transfered from Duke to be home and near his ill mother.  He’s made his mother proud.  He can score (18.5 ppg) and dish (3.8 apg).
  3. Randy Culpepper (UTEP)- Another excellent guard in the conference.  He averages 18.1 points a night and he can really stroke it from deep.

(Aubrey Coleman)

Projected Championship Game- 1. UTEP (24-5) (15-1) vs 2. Memphis (23-8) (13-3)

UTEP dominated the Conference USA regular season.  Before the regular season the big struggle was on the defensive end.  The Miners allowed the opposition to shoot 43.2% from the field last season.  This year, the Miners rank 1st in field goal defense (38.8%).

Derrick Caracter has been a great story for UTEP.  He was a top recruit for Louisville.  Caracter could never get the weight down, and Rick Pitino gave up on him.  Caracter has responded by making the 2nd Team All-Conference.  He and fellow forward Arnette Moultrie have made a solid and formidable duo inside the paint.  Playing alongside those two monsters is of course Randy Culpepper.

(Randy Culpepper)

Everyone knew that Memphis wasn’t going to finish undefeated in the league again, but experts were puzzled to how they would do.  The Tigers have played well down the stretch, winning 7 of their last 8.  They have put themselves in position with a shot to make the NCAA Tournament as an at-large selection.  31 year-old Josh Pastner has done a solid job taking over for John Callipari.  Memphis is led by guard Elliot Williams.

Prediction- UTEP, this team is good and could be a nice cinderella pick come tournament time

Projected NCAA Tournament Seeds

  • UTEP (8)
  • Memphis (13)

STANDINGS- http://espn.go.com/ncb/conferences/standings?confId=11&year=2010

TOURNAMENT BRACKET- http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/tournament/bracket/_/id/20/2010-conference-usa-tournament

 

 

 

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