Conference USA Basketball is in the thick of the conference slate. Here’s where each team stands in late January.
|LA Tech||158||154||11-9 (4-5)|
|North Texas||62||70||16-5 (7-3)|
Winners of three straight and 13 of their last 16, Rice basketball continues to climb upwards in the standings and the ratings. Their most recent victory, an impressive upset of North Texas in Denton, put the rest of the conference on notice. Their continued ascent to sixth in the league in both Kenpom and NET suggests the Owls’ ascent might have some lasting presence and wasn’t just one good night on the road.
Top of the standings tussle
At this point, the top seed in the conference tournament and potentially NCAA berth is Florida Atlantic’s to lose. The Owls remain undefeated in conference play and the schedule is crossing through the halfway point. Can FAU run the table? It will be tough, starting with a matchup this coming Thursday against Middle Tennesee, currently third in the conference standings.
Middle of the pack movement
The end of January and the beginning of February will serve as time to thin the middle of the pack going forward. Only so many teams will be in the race for a first round conference tournament bye in a few weeks time, making the next few games for each all the more important. Keep your eyes on three intriguing matchups over the next few days: LA Tech vs UAB and Charlotte on Rice on Thursday as well as UAB and Rice on Saturday.
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