Conference USA Basketball dominated the postseason, from FAU’s Final Four run in the NCAA Tournament to multiple other championships.
Every Conference USA basketball team that appeared in a postseason tournament this season won at least one game with the majority making deep postseason runs. Here’s where each team in the league finished.
Florida Atlantic (4-1 in NCAA Tournament, Final Four)
Many thought 9-Seed FAU was underseeded when they were matched up with a red-hot Memphis team in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Owls backed up those beliefs with a win over the Tigers in the first round before defeating Farleigh Dickinson (which upset Purdue) in the Round of 32 to advance to the Sweet 16.
They weren’t finished, though. FAU beat 4-Seed Tennessee and 3-Seed Kansas State in Madison Square Garden to punch their ticket to the Final Four where they lost on a buzzer-beater to San Diego State, despite holding a double-digit lead midway through the second half.
North Texas (5-0 in NIT)
The Mean Green had a fringe case for the NCAA Tournament but had to settle for a No. 2 seed in the NIT where they’ve made plenty of noise. The Mean Green defeated Alcorn, 3-Seed Sam Houston, 1-Seed Oklahoma State (in Stillwater) and 2-Seed Wisconsin to reach the NIT Tournament Championship Game where they played (and beat) fellow Conference USA representative, UAB.
UAB (4-1 in NIT)
To reach the NIT Championship game along with North Texas, UAB has defeated former C-USA foe Southern Miss in the first round and Moorehead State in the second round, before advancing to topple 2-Seed Vanderbilt and Utah Valley. The Blazers were undefeated against teams outsider their conference in the NIT.
Charlotte (4-0, won CBI)
The 49ers were awarded the No. 3 seed in the CBI Tournament and more than backed it up. Charlotte defeated Western Carolina, Milwaukee and Radford along their way to an appearance in the CBI Tournament Championship game against No. 8 seed Eastern Kentucky. They won that game, too.
Rice (1-1 in CBI)
The only Conference USA squad to lose a postseason game thus far, Rice started their brief CBI run with an upset victory over No. 5-Seed Duquesne before falling to No. 4-Seed Southern Utah in the second round. The Owls erased a 14-point deficit to tie the game in the final seconds but couldn’t complete the comeback.
Add ’em Up
Conference USA Basketball finished 18-3 in postseason play and nearly swept all three major postseason tournaments (NCAA, NIT, CBI). They won a staggering 90 percent of their games against non-Conference USA opponents. One more interesting wrinkle: all five of these postseason-bound teams are moving to the American next season.
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