UTEP Men Seeded Third in 2011 Buick Conference USA Basketball Championships
March 5, 2011
The UTEP men's basketball team (23-8, 11-5 C-USA) has earned the no. 3 seed in the 2011 Buick Conference USA Basketball Championships, set for March 9-12 at the Don Haskins Center.
The Miners tied Tulsa (18-12, 11-5 C-USA) for second place in the league standings but lost the tiebreaker by virtue of the Golden Hurricane beating regular season champion UAB on Jan. 15 at the Donald W. Reynolds Center. UTEP and Tulsa split two games this season.
The other C-USA Championship seeds are as follows: no. 1 UAB (22-7, 12-4); no. 4 Memphis (22-9, 10-6); no. 5 Southern Miss (21-9, 9-7); no. 6 Marshall (21-10, 9-7); no. 7 SMU (17-13, 8-8); no. 8 East Carolina (16-14, 8-8); no. 9 UCF (19-10, 6-10); no. 10 Rice (13-17, 5-11); no. 11 Houston (12-17, 4-12) and no. 12 Tulane (13-16, 3-13).
UTEP will face the winner of Wednesday's opening round matchup between no. 6 Marshall and no. 11 Houston in Thursday's quarterfinals at 5:30 p.m. MT. The Marshall-Houston game will be played on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
The Miners beat Marshall on March 2 at the Haskins Center, 82-74. UTEP swept Houston, winning 57-52 at Hofheinz Pavilion on Jan. 22 and 76-64 in El Paso on Feb. 19. The Miners have faced the Cougars in the C-USA Tournament each of the last three years.
The Miners have earned a top-four seed and first round bye in the tournament for the fourth time in six seasons as a league member. UTEP was seeded third in 2006, 10th in 2007, sixth in 2008, fourth in 2009 and first in 2010. UTEP's all-time record as a no. 3 seed in conference tournaments is 2-3 ((lost to Hawaii 66-65 in the 1995 WAC Tournament; beat SMU 74-70 and lost to Tulsa 59-56 in the 2001 WAC Tournament; beat Southern Miss 66-47 and lost to UAB 63-60 in the 2006 C-USA Tournament).
UTEP is 5-5 in C-USA Tournament games, reaching the semifinals in 2006 & 2008 and the final a year ago. The Miners' all-time conference tournament record is 32-20 (includes a forfeit against Hawaii in the 1996 WAC Tournament). UTEP captured WAC Tournament crowns in 1984, 1986, 1989, 1990 and 2005.
UTEP hosted WAC Tournament games in 1984, 1985 and 1990. The Miners played in the championship game three times and won the title in 1984 and 1990.
The Miners are 17-2 at home this season, their most victories in the Haskins Center since the 1991-92 campaign.
All session tickets to the Buick Conference USA Basketball Championships, on sale now by calling (915) 747-6150, are $80, $120, $170 and $250. All session tickets will be available until Wednesday. Single session tickets will go on sale Monday by calling (915) 747-5234. Single session prices are $18, $28, $38 and $53. Purchase of a men's ticket is good for admission to the women's championships, which tip off on Wednesday at Memorial Gym.
2011 Buick Conference USA Men's Basketball Championship
Wednesday, March 9
Thursday, March 10
Friday, March 11
Saturday, March 12