- Southern Mississippi is favored to win the Conference USA tournament
- The Golden Eagles finished in a four-way tie for second at 11-7
- Old Dominion (13-5) won the regular-season title
Are the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles going to land the Conference USA tournament title and a berth in March Madness? The oddsmakers at MyBookie have positioned Doc Sadler’s squad as modest favorites for the tournament, which takes place March 13-16 at the Ford Center in Frisco, Texas.
Odds To Win 2019 Conference USA Men’s Basketball Tournament
|Team||Odds to win 2019 Conference USA Men’s Basketball Tournament at MyBookie (Mar. 12)|
Southern Mississippi (19-11, 11-7 C-USA) didn’t wear the Conference USA regular-season crown. That honor went to the Old Dominion Monarchs, who finished 13-5 in conference and 23-8 overall.
The Golden Eagles, Marshall Thundering Herd, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, and UTSA Roadrunners all ended the regular season 11-7.
Conference USA has by far the most complicated tournament-seeding system in the nation (which is why you will see 11-7 Marshall as the no. 6 seed and 10-8 UAB as the no. 5 seed). There’s no need to go into detail now. Here is how the bracket sets up after tiebreakers.
2019 C-USA Tournament Bracket
Western Kentucky landed as the no. 2 seed, Southern Miss is no. 3, and UTSA no. 4.
Why The Golden Eagles Could Soar
In Doc Sadler’s first two years as Southern Mississippi coach, the Golden Eagles won 26 games combined. In the past two seasons, they’ve won 35.
Southern Miss closed out the regular season by hammering UTSA 81-48. That came on the heels of a 59-52 road victory over Old Dominion. Because of that, the Golden Eagles look to be rolling at precisely the right time of the season, and they enter the tournament ranked highest in the conference at KenPom (100th), 14 spots better than the Monarchs (114th).
In the regular-season finale, the Golden Eagles shot 47.7 percent from the field. They nailed 16 of 34 three-pointers and won the rebound battle 47-34. Junior guard Cortez Edwards shattered Curtis Green’s school record for steals in a season with 197.
Southern Mississippi has never won the conference tourney. The Golden Eagles lost 91-79 in double overtime to Memphis in the 2013 Conference USA tournament title game.
It’s A Wide Open Affair
From a wagering standpoint, you’ve got to love Conference USA. There is no clear-cut favorite to win it all. Seven teams finished within three wins of first place.
The top-seeded team has won just one of the past five Conference USA tournaments. That was Middle Tennessee State (2017).
Past Conference USA Tournament Champions
|Year||Conference USA Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions|
|2016||Middle Tennessee State|
|2017||Middle Tennessee State|
Last year, Southern Mississippi, a No. 9 seed, upset two-time defending tournament champion and No. 1-seeded Middle Tennessee State in the quarterfinals.
Good morning. Happy Monday.
— Southern Miss MBB (@SouthernMissMBB) March 11, 2019
It’s logical to expect upsets to occur in this tournament. Still, when picking a champion, it’s unwise to roll with a deep longshot. The past five champs were all seeded fourth or better.
All of the top teams have taken turns beating each other. In head to head among the top five in the conference, Old Dominion and Southern Mississippi are 4-3, Western Kentucky is 4-4, UTSA is 3-4, and Marshall is 2-3.
Golden Eagles Rule
Marshall has five straight wins. The Thundering Herd and Southern Mississippi carry the hot hands into the tournament.
The Herd has arrived in the Lone Star State. pic.twitter.com/9tYIFh08rt
— Marshall Men’s Basketball (@HerdMBB) March 12, 2019
The Golden Eagles sport C-USA’s most efficient offense (107.7 points per 100 possessions). They lead the conference in effective field-goal percentage (54.9), three-point percentage (41.2), and percentage of assisted field goals (60.1).
They also completely obliterated Marshall, their likely QF opponent, in the regular season, winning by 50 (101-51) and they have only lost by double digits once this season (64-48 to North Florida on a neutral court).
— Busting Brackets (@BustingBrackets) March 12, 2019
They look like the winners in what will be a very close race to the finish line.
SBD’s NCAA conference tournament coverage:
- 2019 Big 12 Conference Tournament Odds: Texas Tech Heavily Favored
- 2019 Big Sky Conference Tournament Odds: Montana Listed as Favorite
- 2019 Big Ten Conference Tournament Odds: Michigan State Favored
- 2019 AAC Tournament Odds: Houston Listed as Favorite
- 2019 Pac-12 Tournament Odds: Washington Listed as Favorite
- 2019 Big West Conference Tournament Odds: UC Irvine the Odds-On Favorite
- 2019 ACC Tournament Odds: Virginia, not Duke, Listed as Slight Favorite
- 2019 SEC Tournament Odds: Tennessee & Kentucky Favored Over LSU
- 2019 Big East Conference Tournament Odds: Villanova Favored Over Slumping Marquette
- 2019 MEAC Tournament Odds: Norfolk State Listed as Favorites
- Lipscomb Odds-On Favorite to Win NCAAM Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament
- Colgate Odds-On Favorite to Win Patriot League Tournament
- 2019 Horizon League Tournament Odds: Northern Kentucky Favored
- 2019 Big South Tournament Odds: Radford Favored
- 2019 MAAC Tournament Odds: Iona & Rider Listed as Co-Favorites
- 2019 Colonial Conference Tournament Odds: Hofstra Given Edge Over Northeastern
- Saint Francis Red Flash Favored to Win 2019 Northeast Conference Tournament
- Belmont Favored Over Murray State in Ohio Valley Conference Tournament
- 2019 West Coast Conference Tournament Odds: Should You Bet Against Gonzaga?
- 2019 Summit Conference Tournament Odds: South Dakota St Heavily Favored
- Wofford Listed as Odds-On Favorite in 2019 Southern Conference Tournament
- Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Odds: Loyola-Chicago Favored