The Conference USA basketball season is creeping closer and closer to March. Here’s where things stand with roughly half the conference games in the books.
Credit first belongs to WKU, who withstood the injury to Charles Bassey and have remained neck-and-neck with North Texas atop the conference standings. The Hilltoppers were supposed to be there. The Mean Green were not. Picked to finish seventh in the preseason poll, North Texas has been by far the most impressive team through the first several months of the season.
Roughly at the midpoint of C-USA play, here's are the men's basketball standings. pic.twitter.com/r6XpfLWqsN
— The Roost (@AtTheRoost) January 28, 2020
Early Player of the Year pick
UTSA guard Jhivvan Jackson has been on another world this season. He leads C-USA in scoring, averaging 26.3 points per game. That’s the second-highest total in the nation, trailing only Marquette’s Markus Howard (28.3 ppg). Jackson has failed to reach 20 points in one conference game. If it weren’t for him, UTSA’s already surprisingly challenging season could be in a much more dour spot.
The conference has shown remarkable balance this season. Outside of North Texas and WKU, teams three through 11 have been fairly evenly matched. Then there’s Southern Miss, MTSU and Rice. Each has their own shortcomings and is running out of time to turn things around before the conference tournament in March.
February game to watch
Bonus play has yet to be decided, so the latter portion of the month’s schedule is still TBD. WKU should play North Texas in what could be the deciding game for the No. 1 seed. For the time being, circle Thursday, February 6 when Louisiana Tech visits WKU. If the Bulldogs are going to make a push, that might be their best chance.
Conference USA Basketball is projected to remain a one-bid league in the latest Bracketology. Joe Lunardi has current frontrunner North Texas as a 13-seed in the East region, squaring off against Kentucky in the first round. Whether it’s North Texas or someone else, the odds off C-USA being anything more than a single-bid, double-digit seed seems decidedly unlikely.
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