Marshall (13-18) vs. Tulane (18-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 13, 9:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: BOK Center (19,199) -- Tulsa, Oklahoma. Television: None. Home Record: Marshall 11-5, Tulane 14-4. Away Record: Marshall 1-11, Tulane 3-9. Neutral Record: Marshall 1-2, Tulane 1-0. Conference Record: Marshall 6-10, Tulane 6-10. Series Record: Marshall leads, 8-6.
GAME NOTES: The ninth-seeded Marshall Thundering Herd begin their quest back to the Conference USA Tournament Championship as they take on the eighth- seeded Tulane Green Wave in the opening round of the tourney.
Tom Herrion's Herd became the first team in C-USA Tournament history to reach the finals as a six seed a season ago, it will now look to become the second school in history to win it as a nine seed (Saint Louis, 2000). Marshall underachieved all season long after many thought during the preseason that it would contend with Memphis for the conference crown.
The Herd did play their best game of the season recently, upsetting Southern Miss, 88-84, to avenge a 56-point loss. But they fell, 86-79 at East Carolina in their regular-season finale. Against the Pirates, Robert Goff scored a career-high 27 points on 12- of-19 from the field. Elijah Pittman had 21 points on 4-of-7 from 3-point range, while DeAndre Kane logged 20 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds and five steals. Pittman paces the team with 16.3 ppg, while Kane posts 14.9 ppg and a conference-leading 7.1 apg. D.D. Scarver (12.2 ppg) and Dennis Tinnon (10.3 ppg, 9.1 rpg) also play integral roles in Herrion's system. The Thundering Herd are one of just two teams in the conference with a negative scoring margin as they are being out-produced by an average of 3.8 ppg.
The Green Wave defeated Marshall, 91-75, in the only regular season matchup between these schools this season. The Herd still own an 8-6 all-time series edge.
Tulane stumbled down the stretch with four consecutive losses by an average of 5.5 ppg to close out the regular season. The Green Wave's poor finish made it the eighth-seed, although it could have finished tied for third had it won out. Tulane's latest setback was 96-94 loss to Houston as the Cougars' Joseph Young drained a game-winning jumper despite being fouled with two seconds left to down the Green Wave. Coach Ed Conroy's team only loss three times during its non- conference slate, during which time it defeated Pepperdine and Alabama.
Although they lost, the Green Wave had a very balanced effort against Houston. Kendall Timmons led Tulane with 22 points and eight rebounds, while Josh Davis added 21 points, Kajon Mack scored 16, Ben Cherry finished with 11 points and Jordan Callahan tallied 10. This season, Davis leads Tulane with 17.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. Tarrant ranks second with 16.1 ppg, and he leads the Green Wave with 3.5 apg as well. Callahan stands third with 10.9 ppg. The Green Wave are averaging 69.2 ppg and giving up 64.6 ppg.
Tulane went 3-9 in true road tests and won its only contest at a neutral site this season while Marshall also struggled outside of Huntington. This one will be much closer than the first bout and the Thundering Herd have a solid chance of winning if Pittman continues to get help from down the line.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Marshall 80, Tulane 77
03/13 11:11:26 ET