Raiders earn No. 4 seed for C-USA Championship
MT opens tourney against Old Dominion on Wednesday at 9 a.m.May 17, 2014 · @MTAthletics
IRVING, Texas - Middle Tennessee earned the No. 4 seed for the 2014 Conference USA Championship and will open play on Wednesday, May 21 against No. 5 seed Old Dominion at Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The Raiders and Monarchs will open the five-day tournament with a 9 a.m. contest.
The Championship will feature the top eight teams in regular-season league play and the format returns to two double-elimination brackets, with a single-elimination championship game. This year's tournament marks the first time in league history that all eight participating teams have won 30 or more games.
Rice will be the No.1 seed at the 2014 C-USA Championship. For Rice (37-17), it marks the 19th consecutive season that the Owls have won a conference regular season or tournament championship, dating back to 1995, the final year of the Southwest Conference.
The tournament will begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday when No. 5 seed Old Dominion (33-21) faces No. 4 seed Middle Tennessee (30-25). The Blue Raiders won two-of-three from the Monarchs in Murfreesboro, Tenn., in late April, giving them the edge in the tie-breaker between the schools. Earlier on Saturday, Middle Tennessee completed a three-game sweep of Marshall with a 10-7 victory on Senior Day at Reese Smith Jr. Field.
Top-seeded Rice will open up against No. 8 seed FIU (36-18) at 12:30 p.m. CT. The Owls swept a three-game series from the Panthers in Miami in March. Rice owns a 23-7 all-time record in the C-USA Championship.
UAB (35-19) is the No. 2 seed, its lowest seed in 19 years as a member of C-USA, and the Blazers will play the 4 p.m. CT game against No. 7 seed UTSA (32-24). UAB, which won the tournament in 2012, did not meet UTSA during the regular season.
Host Southern Miss (32-23) is the No. 3 seed and the Golden Eagles will begin tournament play in the 7:30 p.m. CT game vs. No. 6 seed East Carolina (32-24). The two teams met in Hattiesburg just two weeks ago, with The Pirates taking the final two games of the series after the Golden Eagles grabbed the opener. This will mark the fifth time in six years that the two clubs squared off in the C-USA Championship.
Each game of the championship from Wednesday through Saturday will be streamed live on the C-USA Digital Network. The championship game of the tournament on Sunday, May 25 will be televised live by CBS Sports Network, beginning at 1 p.m. CDT. The tournament champion receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. Rice is the defending tournament champion. Fans can also listen to all of the Blue Raider action on WMOT 89.5 FM with Dick Palmer calling the plays.
Conference USA Championship Schedule
Wednesday, May 21
G1: (5) Old Dominion vs. (4) Middle Tennessee - 9:00 a.m.
G2: (8) FIU vs. (1) Rice - 12:30 p.m.
G3: (7) UTSA vs. (2) UAB - 4:00 p.m.
G4: (6) East Carolina vs. (3) Southern Miss - 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 22
G5: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 - 9:00 a.m.
G6: Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 - 12:30 p.m.
G7: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 - 4 p.m.
G8: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 - 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 23
G9: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner game 6 - 3:00 p.m.
G10: Loser Game 7 vs. Loser game 8 - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 24
G11: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner game 9 - 9:00 a.m.
G12: Winner Game 8 vs. Winner game 10 - 12:30 p.m.
G13: Same teams as Game 11 - 4:00 p.m. (if necessary)
G14: Same teams as Game 12 - 7:30 p.m. (if necessary)
Sunday, May 25 (televised by CBS Sports Network)
Championship Game - 1:00 p.m.
Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.
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