C-USA Betting Notes
March 10, 2014
By Marc Lawrence
March 11-15 -- All games at the Don Haskins Center, El Paso, TX (home court of UTEP)
PROJECTED FINAL FOUR: SOUTHERN MISS, LA TECH, MIDDLE TENNESSEE, UTEP
THE WAY WE SEE IT:
With Memphis out of the way, it’s time a new #1 seed makes a name in this tourney. The Tigers had captured the crown 7 of the last 8 years in the C-USA tourney before bolting for the new American Athletic Conference. A lot of which went hand-in-hand with the fact the top seed in this tourney has made it to the title game 9 of the last 10 years, while cutting down the nets 10 of the last 13 years. That being the case, the dilemma is that no less than four teams were tied atop the conference standings at 12-3 heading to press time. The good news is the top 4 seeds in this tourney receive double byes, with seeds 5-9 getting a single bye.
From an all-important RPI standpoint, SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI sits atop the pack in the C-USA. The Golden Eagles were the runner-up in this tourney last year and won 27 games before losing in the quarterfinals of the NIT last season. Head coach Donnie Tyndall is 52-15 SU with USM at press time, including 46-5 versus .666 or less opponents, and is the team to beat.
LOUISIANA TECH was the preseason favorite to win the conference and did not disappoint after transferring in from the WAC. Like Southern Miss, the Bulldogs dominated sub .666 or less opponents this season (20-2 SU and 10-5 ATS at press time) and should arrive in a nasty mood after having been bounced in the first round of the WAC tourney as a 12.5-point, #1 seed last year.
MIDDLE TENNESSEE, another ‘new kid on the block’ in the conference this year, holds down the 3rd best RPI ranking in the loop. The Blue Raiders won the Sun Belt last season before eventually losing in the first round of the Big Dance. MTSU’s strength is on the glass where they outrebound foes a net +4.3 RPG this season after finishing +5.7 last year.
UTEP plays host to the tourney, owning the #72 RPI rating at press time, so they will need to make some noise in order to get an invite. A 152-38 SU record at the Don Haskins Center, including 10-3-1 ATS when getting points, should serve them well.
THE SLEEPER: TULSA
The Hurricane started slow (0-4 SU) but closed like their namesake with 7 straight wins (8-1 ATS) at press time. We’re now located in South Florida and if there is one thing we’ve learned since residing in this state, it’s that you don’t step in front of a hurricane at full force.
KEY TOURNAMENT BEST BET: PLAY ON SOUTHERN MISS IN GAME ONE
The Eagles have been golden in conference tourney lid-lifters (10-1 SU and 9-2 ATS), which ties directly into their aforementioned dominance against .666 or less opposition.
EXTRA TOURNEY TRENDS & NOTES
CHARLOTTE: 4-0 ATS as favs vs opp off BB SU/ATS wins, 1-9 ATS off SU loss, 1-5 ATS L6, 3-8 ATS w/revenge
EAST CAROLINA: 3-0 ATS off DD SU win, 1-6 ATS off SU loss, 1-6 ATS vs opp off SU win
FLORIDA ATLANTIC: 0-4 ATS vs opp w/revenge, 0-3 ATS off SU/ATS win, 1-5 ATS as favs, 1-3 ATS off DD ATS loss
LOUISIANA TECH: 4-0 ATS as dogs < 7 pts, 4-1 ATS off SU dog win, 0-2 ATS off DD ATS win, 1-5 ATS vs opp off DD SU win
MARSHALL: 2-0 ATS as dogs off SU loss, 4-1 ATS vs opp off SUATS loss, 0-2 ATS vs opp off BB SU/ATS wins, 1-4 ATS favs < 7 pts
MIDDLE TENNESSEE: 4-1 ATS as dogs > 3 pts, 1-7-1 ATS L9, 1-6 ATS off BB SUATS wins, 1-4 ATS as favs vs opp off SU loss
NORTH TEXAS: 2-0 ATS off BB SU losses, 4-1 ATS off 3+ SUATS wins, 3-1 ATS as dogs 3 < pts, 1-4 ATS off DD ATS win
OLD DOMINION: 3-0 ATS as dogs of BB SU/ATS wins, 2-0 ATS off BB SU losses, 0-4 ATS vs opp off SU fav loss, 0-2 ATS w/same-season single revenge
RICE: 5-0 ATS off BB SU losses, 4-0-1 ATS vs opp off SU loss, 6-1-1 ATS dogs 5 > pts, 6-1-1 ATS w/3+ days rest
SOUTHERN MISS: 5-1 ATS favs off BB SU wins, 1-6 ATS off SU dog win, 1-6-1 dogs off BB SUATS wins, 2-6 ATS vs opp off BB SU/ATS wins
TEXAS SAN ANTONIO: 1st year in tourney
TULANE: 4-1 ATS off SU win vs opp off SU loss, 3-1 ATS vs opp off BB SUATS wins, 3-1 ATS vs #1 seed, 0-5 ATS L5, 1-4 ATS off BB SU/ATS wins
TULSA: 3-0 ATS w/same-season single revenge, 3-1 ATS vs opp off SU loss, 0-3 ATS w/same-season double revenge, 2-6 ATS vs opp off DD SU win
UAB: 5-1 ATS off DD ATS win, 4-0 ATS as dogs off DD SU win, 1-11 ATS L12 games, 1-9 ATS favs 6 < pts…
UTEP: 5-0-1 ATS vs opp off SU dog win, 3-0 ATS as DD favs, 8-2 ATS favs vs opp off SU win. 1-3 ATS as dogs vs opp off SU win.
-- Teams off a DD SU win are 13-1-1 ATS vs opp off SU/ATS loss…
-- Teams off BB SU/ATS losses are 11-1 ATS w/same-season single revenge…
-- Favorites w/revenge are 5-1-1 ATS vs opp off SU dog win…
-- Underdogs off BB SU losses are 10-3 ATS vs opp off SU loss…
-- #2 seeds are 0-5-1 ATS w/revenge…
-- #3 seeds are 1-7 ATS off BB SUATS wins…
-- #4 seeds are 1-5 ATS as DD dogs…
-- #7 seeds are 0-4 ATS L4 but 8-2-1 ATS off BB SU/ATS wins…
-- #9 seeds are 8-2 ATS vs opp off SU/ATS win.
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