Story by Calvin White / Contributing Writer
The Middle Tennessee men’s and women’s basketball teams travel to Frisco, TX to begin the Conference USA tournament and play for a chance to punch their ticket to the big dance.
Both teams earned a double bye in the tournament which means neither team will play until Thursday, March 10. The Middle Tennessee men finished the regular season on a two game losing streak to finish 22-9 overall with a 13-5 record in conference play while the Lady Raiders finished 22-6 overall with a 14-4 record in conference play.
Blue Raider men’s basketball rounded out the regular season as champions of the eastern division and will await the winner of UTEP and Old Dominion. That game will be played on Wednesday, March 9 at 8:00 p.m. Central time. The Blue Raiders will have four days of rest in between their loss at Old Dominion on Saturday and their game on Thursday.
MT has fared well against UTEP and Old Dominion this season. The Blue Raiders defeated UTEP in their lone matchup of the season 77-59 on February 21 at the Murphy Center while splitting the season series with Old Dominion 1-1. They defeated Old Dominion 63-48 on February 10 at the Murphy Center and dropped their second matchup 68-64 on Saturday but were without leading scorer Josh Jefferson who is nursing an ankle injury he suffered in their previous contest against Charlotte.
The Lady Raiders finished the regular season as the second seed in the eastern division. Their opponent will be determined by the two games before them. FIU will take on FAU at 4:30 p.m. central time on Tuesday. The winner of that matchup will then take on Southern Miss at 2:00 p.m. Central time on Wednesday and the Lady Raiders will play the winner of that matchup.
The Lady Raiders have split the season series with FIU, losing 56-54 on January 15 in Miami and winning 63-49 in the Murphy Center. MT has also swept FAU and won their lone matchup of the season against Southern Miss.
The day after each squad took home a plethora of postseason awards, both teams are looking to make their mark in March and play for their one shining moment.