Conference USA Announces Women's Basketball Championship Bracket
March 4, 2012
IRVING, Texas - UTEP, Memphis, Tulane and UAB have all earned a first-round bye in the 2012 Conference USA Women's Basketball Championship. The four-day, 11-game championship runs Wednesday through Saturday, March 7-10. First round and quarterfinals will be played at Elma Roane Fieldhouse (capacity 2,565) on Memphis' campus. Semifinals and the title game will be held downtown at the FedExForum.
Wednesday's action gets underway at 11 a.m. CT with a game between No. 6 seed Tulsa and No. 11 seed East Carolina. The Golden Hurricane (13-14, 8-8) earned its highest seed since winning the tournament as the No. 1 seed in 2006. East Carolina (11-18, 5-11) has won five of its last six games, including three straight.
The winner of game one will face No. 4 seed Tulane on Thursday at 11 a.m. CT. The Green Wave has won a league-record five tournament titles including three-straight from 1999 to 2001. Tulane has also appeared in the championship game the last two seasons.
Following the opening game will be No. 7 Marshall and No. 10 SMU. The Thundering Herd (16-13, 7-9) has won three of its last five games, while SMU (13-16, 6-10) has dropped six of its last seven. Marshall has advanced to the semifinals in two of the previous three years. Host and No. 2 seed Memphis will challenge the winner of that game. The Tigers at 15-1 at home this season and finished 23-6 overall.
UTEP, who ended the season 26-3 and 15-1 in league play, enters as the top seed and will await the winner No. 8 seed UCF and No. 9 seed Southern Miss. That game tips off the afternoon session at 5 p.m. CT on Wednesday. Both teams lost their final regular season game but are extremely dangerous as Southern Miss (12-17, 6-10) went 7-1 in February and UCF (12-16, 7-9) has strong senior leadership.
Closing out Wednesday's action will be No. 5 Rice and No. 12 Houston. Rice swept the season series between the intra-city rivals. The Owls have won three of their last four, including a 52-48 victory over UTEP in El Paso to end the Miners 15-game winning streak on Feb. 26. The Cougars (3-25, 2-14) find themselves on the opposite end of the bracket as UH held the No. 1 slot a year ago. Houston has faced a slew of injuries this season but tallied a pair of conference wins. The winner advances to face No. 4 seed UAB (18-10, 9-7). Defense has been the hallmark all year for the Blazers, which allows just 48.8 points per game to rank third nationally.
The semifinals and finals of the women's tournament will be played at the FedExForum, which is hosting the entire men's basketball tournament. Wednesday and Thursday's games are scheduled to tip at 11 a.m. CT and will air on the C-USA Digital Network, while Friday's semifinals have a 10 a.m. start time. The championship game is slated for 7 p.m. CT. CBS College Sports will televise the final three games.
Fans can purchase tickets by calling 901-678-2331 or logging onto www.gotigers.com.
FIRST ROUND - Wednesday, March 7
QUARTERFINALS - Thursday, March 8
SEMIFINALS - Friday, March 9
CHAMPIONSHIP - Saturday, March 10