Inside Marshall Sports

Conference USA basketball rankings — Feb. 13

AP photo

Few changes here, but I’m on the verge of proposing that Louisiana Tech and the U. of Ala. at Birm. be forced into the 8-vs-9 game, no matter how the standings come out. Both are brutal disappointments at this point.

As always, teams are not ranked by RPI or necessarily league standings. Important: Overall records are against Division I teams only. For instance, Marshall is 17-8, but that includes a win over Concord. The rankings will not be reshuffled until next week.

1. Middle Tennessee (19-5, 12-1)
Last week: beat Rice 94-75, North Texas 79-73
Thursday/Saturday: at Southern Miss, La Tech
Quality wins
Murray State 72-67, Vanderbilt 66-63, Ole Miss 77-58, Princeton 69-67, UAB 63-60, WKU 66-62, ODU 66-59
Good losses
Auburn 70-76, Belmont 63-69, USC 84-89, Miami 81-84
Bad losses
None

Notes: Nick King won the Player of the Week award for the 4th time, scoring 47 points and shooting 40 percent from 3-point range in the 2 games.

2. Western Kentucky (17-7, 10-2)
Last week:
beat FAU 75-63, FIU 83-76
Thursday/Saturday: at North Texas, Rice
Quality wins
Purdue 77-73, SMU 63-61, Wright State 78-60, Louisiana Tech 69-68, Marshall 112-87, ODU 75-68, UAB 77-69, Marshall 75-64
Good losses
Belmont 72-75, Wisconsin 80-81, Villanova (No. 1) 58-66, Missouri State 80-85, MTSU 62-66
Bad losses
Ohio 84-89, UTSA 63-74

Notes: The masked man, Taveion Hollingsworth, was the Freshman of the Year after scoring 28 points against the Florida schools. He busted his schnoz the previous week against UTSA.

3. Old Dominion (19-5, 10-2)
Last week:
Beat Southern Miss 68-63, La Tech 82-69
Thursday/Saturday: home vs. UTSA, UTEP
Quality wins
Dayton 75-67, Towson 57-54, Marshall 82-76
Good losses
VCU 75-82, William & Mary 77-79 (halfcourt shot at buzzer)
Bad losses
None

Notes: Led Louisiana Tech by 25 in the second half at Ruston, no less.

4. Marshall (16-8, 8-4)
Last week: Beat FIU 76-66, FAU 79-68
Thursday/Saturday: at Rice, at North Texas
Quality wins
Louisiana Tech 78-65, MTSU 73-63, UAB 76-68 (OT)
Good losses
Xavier 77-81
Bad losses
Morehead 83-86, UTSA 77-81

Notes: Unless North Texas is *really* all that, the Herd could head into the Mean Green’s Super Pit with a game and a half lead for 4th — over UAB.

5. North Texas (12-11, 7-5)
Last week: beat UAB 67-60, lost to MTSU 73-79
Thursday/Saturday: home vs. WKU, Marshall
Quality wins
San Diego 86-83
Good losses
Oklahoma 72-82, UT-Arlington 60-65, Old Dominion 60-63, MTSU 73-79
Bad losses
UT-Rio Grande Valley 63-75, Charlotte 68-70

Notes: 3-point warning: Roosevelt Smart has hit 91 of them, already setting a school record.

6. UTSA (11-11, 7-5)
Last week:
beat UTEP 63-59
Thursday/Saturday: at ODU, Charlotte
Quality wins
Marshall 81-77, WKU 74-63
Good losses
Oklahoma (AP No. 12) 85-97, Utah Valley 80-88, Nebraska 94-104
Bad losses
Coastal Carolina 69-83, FIU 76-79

Notes: These guys have won 4 in a row for the first time since January 2012, and have equaled last year’s win total (they have 14 wins total).

7. Alabama-Birmingham (14-10, 7-6)
Last week:
Lost to North Texas 60-67, beat Rice 61-56
Thursday/Saturday: at La Tech, Southern Miss
Quality wins
Memphis 71-56
Good losses
Auburn 80-85, Buffalo 91-96, MTSU 60-63, Marshall 78-86 (OT), ODU 60-65
Bad losses
Richmond 50-63, UTSA 70-82

Notes: Had to outscore Rice 17-3 in the final 4:30 — at Birmingham.

8. Florida International (8-15, 5-8)
Last week:
lost to Marshall 66-77, WKU 76-83
Saturday: at FAU
Quality wins
None
Good losses
Elon 87-95, MTSU 66-71 OT
Bad losses
Stetson 64-70, Hartford 72-79, James Madison 67-76, UTEP 68-72, Rice 64-73

Note: Panthers cut WKU lead to 2 with 2:11 left but got outscored 12-7 the rest of the way. I am not awarding a “good loss” here.

9. Louisiana Tech (13-11, 6-7)
Last week: beat Charlotte 83-65, lost to ODU 69-82
Thursday/Saturday: home vs. UAB, MTSU
Quality wins
Evansville 63-61
Good losses
Alabama 74-77, Stephen F. Austin 85-83, Western Kentucky 68-69
Bad losses
FIU 68-71

Notes: ODU shot 56.6%, forced 20 turnovers.

10. Southern Miss (9-13, 6-7)
Last week:
lost to ODU 63-68, beat Charlotte 72-54
Thursday/Saturday: home vs MTSU, UAB
Quality wins
None
Good losses
Mississippi State 64-70, ODU 63-68
Bad losses
Florida State 45-98, South Alabama 58-69, MTSU 49-69, FIU 70-76

Notes: Led ODU by 11 early in the 2nd half.

11. Florida Atlantic (7-15, 4-9)
Last week:
lost to WKU 63-75, Marshall 68-79
Saturday: home vs. FIU
Quality wins
None
Good losses
None
Bad losses
Arkansas State 63-64, South Florida 59-60, Texas Tech 54-90, Towson 52-76, Minnesota 60-95, UAB 44-75, Southern Miss 66-67

12. Rice (3-20, 2-10)
Last week:
lost to MTSU 75-94, UAB 56-61
Thursday/Saturday: home vs. Marshall, WKU
Quality wins
None
Good losses
Old Dominion 75-82
Bad losses
Eastern Kentucky 72-73, UT-Rio Grande Valley 67-69, Texas State 66-74, UTSA 66-79, UTEP 62-80, North Texas 70-74

13. UTEP (6-17, 2-10)
Last week:
lost to UTSA 59-63
Thursday/Saturday: at Charlotte, ODU
Quality wins
Washington State 76-69
Good losses
Boise State 56-58
Bad losses
New Mexico State 60-80, Appalachian State 72-76, FAU 66-73, MTSU 50-81

Notes: Went 16-34 FT against UTSA. Season mark 66 percent.

14. Charlotte (4-18, 1-11)
Last week:
lost to La Tech 65-83, Southern Miss 54-72
Thursday/Saturday: home vs. UTEP, UTSA
Quality wins
None
Good losses
MTSU 73-78
Bad losses
James Madison 82-87, Chattanooga 50-64, South Florida 76-78, Rice 64-73

Notes: Lost 10 in a row, 7 of last 8 by double digits.