It goes without saying how big it was to beat UAB and Tulsa back-to-back. I’m more and more sold on this team’s toughness, it’s ability to win in any style of play. Stat of the day: Chris Lutz played *35* minutes, and it wasn’t for offensive reasons.
I’m going to go ahead and project the Herd for an 11-5 league record, which would be 4-1 the rest of the way. I like it to get through Tulane (who does have one or two best scorers back), Rice and UCF. But does the Herd lose to UTEP, because the Miners will probably win the league and are pretty good, or at SMU because the Mustangs are better and it’s a really lousy spot on the schedule?
With that, the projection:
1. UTEP 14-2 (Schedule is pretty tough. If Miners don’t lose to Marshall, it will be Tulsa or Southern Miss or UAB)
2. Memphis 12-4
3. UAB 12-4
4. Marshall 11-5
5. Tulsa 10-6
6-8. Southern Miss, Houston, UCF 8-8
9. SMU 7-9; 8-8 if it beats Marshall
10-12. Tulane, Rice and East Carolina 2-14 in the tie from hell. (Maybe Tulane gets one down the stretch)
Right now, I can pretty safely call this shot: Marshall vs. Tulsa in the Conference USA quarterfinals, March 11 at the BOK Center. Tulsa, as the host city, will get the “prime-time” slot, so that game will go off at 6:30 Central (slight change from previous years).
Just to thicken the plot: It seemed to me that Tulsa coach Doug Wojcik thinks his team got jobbed Wednesday night. I may write on that tonight.