Basketball

C-USA Women’s Tourney Set With No. 12 Herd meeting No. 5 Charlotte Wednesday

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IRVING, Texas – WKU clinched its second C-USA regular-season crown outright with a thrilling win at Rice and will enter the upcoming Conference USA Women’s Basketball Championship presented by MetroPCS with the top overall seed. The Lady Toppers (24-6, 16-2 C-USA) notched 16 league wins, which ties the C-USA single-season record with four other programs, with the most recent example being last year’s UTEP squad (29-5, 16-2).

WKU won its lone C-USA Championship in its first year of membership (2015) as the No. 1 seed and fell in the quarterfinals last season as the No. 3 seed. The complete bracket for the C-USA Women’s Basketball Championship is available below.

Defending league champion Middle Tennessee (20-9, 15-3 C-USA) will enter the field as the No. 2 seed. The Lady Raiders have won 15 games in conference play in three of their four years of membership and won two of their first three C-USA tournament appearances.

Rounding out the top four seeds are No. 3 Southern Miss (21-9, 13-5 C-USA) and No. 4 Louisiana Tech (17-12, 12-6 C-USA). The Lady Eagles are riding a seven-game win streak into the tournament, while the Lady Techsters, who were picked to finish 12th in the preseason poll, claimed the final free ticket to the quarterfinal round due to a head-to-head tiebreaker over Charlotte (20-9, 12-6).

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Ryan Taylor of the Marshall men and Talequia Hamilton of the Thundering Herd women’s team want to see Marshall Thundering Herd fans in Birmingham, Ala. on Wednesday. (C-USA photo)

All fans of Marshall will be watching and listening to the Thundering Herd’s first game on Wednesday at UAB’s Gene Bartow Arena in the tournament’s second game of the day at 3 p.m. CT/ 4 p.m. EST and on Campus Insiders.com when No. 5 Charlotte will take on No. 12 Marshall. The 49ers swept the season series against the Thundering Herd in a pair of double-digit victories and won the last C-USA Championship meeting between the two, 67-52, in the 2015 tournament.

But under head coach Matt Daniel, the Herd has enjoyed solid C-USA tournament success. As a No. 16 seed in 2014, Marshall upset No. 9 Florida Atlantic, while just last year, the Herd won its second-round matchup with FIU before upsetting then-No. 3 WKU in the quarterfinals to reach its first semifinal round since 2009. The winner draws upstart No. 4 LA Tech in the quarters at 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. EST on Campus Insiders.com and Twitter.

Tipping off the 2017 C-USA Women’s Basketball Championship in the first game of the entire tourney on Wednesday, March 8, will be No. 8 North Texas and host No. 9 UAB at 12:30 p.m. CT on Campus Insiders. In their lone meeting of the season back on Jan. 5, the Mean Green squeaked out an overtime win over the Blazers in Denton, Texas. The winner will face WKU in the quarterfinals at 12:30 p.m. CT on Campus Insiders and Twitter.

Leading off the evening games at 6:30 p.m. CT on Campus Insiders, No. 7 UTSA (14-15, 10-8 C-USA) and No. 10 Rice (17-12, 8-10 C-USA) will begin their tournament journeys. The Owls won the regular-season meeting between the two on Feb. 16, 66-61. The victor of the two will face defending champion No. 2 Middle Tennessee in the quarterfinals at 6:30 p.m. CT on Campus Insiders and Twitter.

Rounding out the field is No. 6 Old Dominion (16-13, 11-7 C-USA) and No. 11 UTEP (8-22, 5-13 C-USA) at 9 p.m. CT on Campus Insiders with the winner set for a quarterfinals date with No. 3 Southern Miss. The Lady Monarchs boast one of the nation’s best scorers in senior guard Jennie Simms and are one year removed from a spirited championship run that culminated in a loss to Middle Tennessee in the championship game.

Central times for games are at the UAB campus basketball building, Gene Bartow Arena, or at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex’s Legacy Arena, EST times are for listening in Huntington, W.Va.

Wednesday, March 8 – C-USA Championship First Round at Bartow Arena/UAB

(8) North Texas vs. (9) UAB – 12:30 p.m. (Campus Insiders)

(5) Charlotte vs. (12) Marshall – 3 p.m. CT/ 4 p.m. EST (Campus Insiders)

(7) UTSA vs. (10) Rice – 6:30 p.m. (Campus Insiders)

(6) Old Dominion vs. (11) UTEP – 9 p.m. (Campus Insiders)

Thursday, March 9 – C-USA Championship Quarterfinals at Bartow Arena/UAB

North Texas/UAB vs. (1) WKU – 12:30 p.m. (Campus Insiders/Twitter)

Charlotte/Marshall vs. (4) Louisiana Tech – 3 p.m. CT/ 4 p.m. EST (Campus Insiders/Twitter)

UTSA/Rice vs. (2) Middle Tennessee – 6:30 p.m. (Campus Insiders/Twitter)

Old Dominion/UTEP vs. (3) Southern Miss – 9 p.m. (Campus Insiders/Twitter)

Friday, March 10 – C-USA Championship Semifinals at Legacy Arena/BJCC

Semifinal #1 – 4:30 p.m. CT/ 5:30 p.m. EST (American Sports Network)

Semifinal #2 – 7 p.m. (American Sports Network)

Saturday, March 11 – C-USA Championship Game at Legacy Arena/BJCC

Championship – 4:30 p.m. CT/ 5:30 p.m. EST (CBS Sports Network)

About Woody Woodrum

Senior Editor and columnist/writer for Herd Insider since 2003, with Kindred Communications on radio for Marshall football/men's basketball pregame and postgame shows since 1996 and with First Sentry Bank Sportsline (Also Scott on Sports, Sideline Sports and Herd Insider Sportsline) since 1997. Married to Liz (12-22-1990) and one son, Tre' (11-7-1997). National Sportswriters & Sportscasters West Virginia Broadcaster of the Year winner for radio, 2000; won W.Va. Broadcasters Best Talk Show in 2013 with co-host Paul Swann and W.Va. Broadcasters Best Play-by-Play in 2015 with Jason Toy (Huntington at South Charleston, state AAA semifinals). Member of (College) Football Writers Association of America, (College) Basketball Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Color commentator for Marshall football (1999-2000), for Marshall basketball (2004-2016) and Marshall baseball (2004-2016). Color for high school football at Spring Valley (1999-2008), Cabell Midland (2009-2012) and Huntington (W.Va.) High School (2013-2016).

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