- The Florida Atlantic Owls are the betting favorite at the Conference USA Tournament, starting March 8
- North Texas is seeded second, and have the top scoring defense in the NCAA
- See the 2023 Conference USA Tournament odds, seeds, bracket, and full tournament preview below
The Florida Atlantic Owls have been so dominant season, they could probably get upset at the 2023 Conference USA Tournament and still earn an at-large bid from the committee. SBD’s projected March Madness bracket has them in comfortably as a 7-seed.
Perhaps that leaves the door open for other hopefuls for that lone automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, when schools chase down the title beginning March 8-11. They’ll converge at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, the training facility of the Dallas Cowboys.
This might be the most grass-roots venue of any year-end conference tournament, with a net drawn between two courts as games go on simultaneously.
Let’s run down the odds for Conference USA tourney and find the best bet.
2023 Conference USA Championship Odds
|Florida Atlantic Owls||+150|
|North Texas Mean Green||+260|
|Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders||+1800|
|Western Kentucky Hilltoppers||+9000|
|Louisiana Tech Bulldogs||+10000|
The Owls are the tourney favorite at +150 odds, an implied probability of 40% to take it all. They had just three losses on the year in 31 games, finishing 18-2 in C-USA play.
The UAB Blazers finished the year 23-8, while going 14-6 in the conference. They’re next at +210 odds, followed by the North Texas Mean Green at +260, who went 25-6 on the year, and 16-4 in the conference.
Odds as of March 6 at DraftKings.
Conference USA Tournament Schedule
The tournament kicks off Wednesday (Mar 8), with three games on the docket, beginning with no. 8 Western Kentucky taking on UTEP at 5:30pm ET. Seventh-seeded FIU take on Louisiana Tech, the 10th seed at 8pm ET, side-by-side with no. 6 rice taking on 11-seed UTSA at 8:30pm ET.
The winners of those advance to the quarters on Thursday, where the top-5 regular season finishers arrived via a first-round bye.
— Conference USA (@ConferenceUSA) March 5, 2023
Florida Atlantic gets the winner of WKU and UTEP at 5:30pm ET, while 4th-seeded Middle Tennessee State takes on 5th-seed Charlotte at 6pm ET.
The no. 2 Mean Green of North Texas gets the winner of FIU vs LA Tech (8pm ET), and the 3rd-seeded Blazers meet the Rice-UTSA winner (8:30pm ET). Games on the first two days can be seen live on ESPN2.
Four winners from make the final four Friday, and they play down to the title final on Saturday at 7:30pm ET. The final two days of games will be seen love on CBS Sports Network.
Teams to Look Out For in C-USA Tournament
Florida Atlantic is having the best year in school history, cracking the top-25 for the first time. They were unbeatable at home (17-0), with all three losses on the road. They rank 27th overall in KenPom, and 26th in their adjusted offensive efficiency metric.
The Owls ranked second in the conference in scoring at 79.3 points per game. the 27th-best in the nation, and shot a blistering 37.8% from distance, the 20th-best mark in the NCAA on a monster 830 attempts, the 7th-most hoists all season.
They were led by Johnell Davis, who averaged 13.2 points and 5.2 rebounds while shooting 41% from distance. Alijah Martin added 12.6 points, 5.1 boards and shot 47.1% from the field.
— In The Lab (@InTheLabBrand) March 6, 2023
Opposite Fla Atlantic, UAB and North Texas are on a collision course to meet in the other semifinal, the last step to the win-and-get-in scenario Saturday.
The Blazers are the highest scoring team in C-USA, and check in at ninth in the NCAA at 82.2 points per game. They enter the tournament as the hottest team, having reeled off six straight wins. UAB is one of the teams that does have a W on the Owls, knocking them off 86-77 on Feb 2.
They’re powered by Jordan “Jelly” Walker, the no. 3 scorer in the country, averaging 23.2 points per game, adding 4.2 assists while shooting 39.1% from distance. Eric Gaines was the second leading scorer at 12 points and a team-best 4.6 assists.
Talk about drastically different styles: the Mean Green are dead last in the NCAA in KenPom’s adjusted tempo metric. It’s no surprise they are the lowest-scoring team in C-USA at 63.7 points per game. Tylor Perry was their leading scorer, putting up 17 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.
They get it done defensively, the NCAA’s top scoring defense, surrendering a paltry 55.4 points per game. North Texas Limits opponents to 40.1% from the field (17th) and 31% from three-point range (41st).
2023 Conference USA Tournament Prediction
No mid major climbed into that section of the NCAA Tournament odds quite like Florida Atlantic, who sat at a monstrous +250000 on Nov 29, and are in the thick of it with the other mid majors, now with +19400 odds.
The Owls have an easier path, and they provide both offensive punch and defensive chops to march to the final. Tempo will decide UAB-North Texas and whoever imposes their will should advance.
Looking for some better value? You might take a dip on the Charlotte 49ers (+1400). They shoot it from distance at a 37.5% clip, the 27th-best mark in the NCAA, though they were 2nd-last in C-USA scoring at 63.7 points.
Perhaps a few more shots drop here than they did in the regular season, where they lost by six points or less 16 times.
That being said, we’ll stay chalk.
Pick: Florida Atlantic (+150)