Tag Archives: UAB

Five Teams to Watch Ahead of Conference Tournaments

Nelson, Tyler (3)
Tyler Nelson and the Fairfield Stags may be below .500 in MAAC play, but they can’t be counted out down the stretch and into the conference tournament. (Source: Fairfield Athletics) (Header: Times Union)

LONDON, Ont. — Move over football, it’s college basketball’s time to shine!

With Super Bowl 52 now a thing of the past, the attention in the sporting world shifts to college basketball and the March to Madness. With the conference races heating up all across the country, teams are starting to separate themselves from the pack as they look to punch their ticket to the Big Dance.

As we all know from history, not all things go according to plan. Teams atop the conferences right now aren’t guaranteed of a spot in the field of 68, as anything can happen come late-February and early March.

Every year, there are teams that come from the middle of conference standings to make a run at their respective conference tournament title. It will happen again this year, without question, and we will see a few surprise entrants in the bracket come Selection Sunday as conference champions.

Here are five teams who currently sit in the middle of the pack in their respective conferences that could make some noise down the stretch during the regular season and into the post-season.
Continue reading Five Teams to Watch Ahead of Conference Tournaments

College Court Report 2017-18 Preseason Awards: Conference USA

Jon Elmore has been a constant problem for opposing defenses over his first two years at Marshall, and that trend will continue in 2017-18. (Source: Jared Wickerham – AP)

CANMORE, Alta. — The 2017-18 season tips off on November 10th, which means the final month without college basketball is finally upon us.

Fans all across the country are gearing up for another exciting college basketball season, and with the recent scandal involving the FBI and several power conference programs across the NCAA, the level of anticipation is through the roof.

Conference preview pieces are starting to circulate from various media outlets, and conferences are hosting their annual media days and announcing their preseason polls and award winners. It’s always interesting to see how coaches and media rank teams in their respective conferences.

With the season right around the corner, we are starting to release our Preseason Player of the Year awards for each conference, along with three All-Conference teams. Picked at random, we will release two sets of awards each day.

Following the 2016-17 season, several teams in the Conference USA underwent some major changes in the off-season. From a recruiting saga with a five-star prospect that looked like it was never going to end, to several big-time players either graduating or transferring to bigger programs, the makeup of several teams will look vastly different that it did the year prior.

Regardless, the race for the Conference USA crown will be an exciting one. The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders will look to advance to their third straight NCAA Tournament and knock off a Big Ten school for the third time in a row. Other programs are nipping at their heels, and some come into the year ranked higher than the defending champions.

With an abundance of talent still calling the Conference USA their home, scroll down to take a look at who we have tabbed as our Preseason Player of the Year, and who comes in where on our All-Conference USA Teams!
Continue reading College Court Report 2017-18 Preseason Awards: Conference USA

College Court Report Preseason All-Conference Teams: Conference USA

William Lee and the UAB Blazers enter the 2016-17 season as the favourites in the Conference USA, and will look to make their second appearance in the NCAA Tournament in the last three years.
William Lee and the UAB Blazers enter the 2016-17 season as the favourites in the Conference USA, and will look to make their second appearance in the NCAA Tournament in the last three years.

With the exhibition season in full swing, and coming to a close early this week, that can mean only one thing.

The 2016-17 college basketball regular season is just around the corner!

Things get underway Friday, November 11th at Noon EST with the first regular season game of the season, and there will be a plethora of talent on display across all 32 conferences all season long.

Before the season gets started, we decided to hand out some preseason hardware, in the form of our Conference Player of the Year award and All-Conference Teams.

Along with that, we have the College Court Report All-Americans, and the Mid-Major Player of the Year Preseason Watch List. Links to all of the conference awards and the Watch List can be found at the bottom of each article.

Below, you can find the All-Conference Teams and Conference Player of the Year for the Conference USA. Continue reading College Court Report Preseason All-Conference Teams: Conference USA

RECAP: Western Kentucky Knocks Off Top-Seed UAB in Conference USA Quarter-Finals

Western Kentucky guard Fredrick Edmond went 7-of-9 from the field on Thursday night, scoring a team-high 19 points to lead the Hilltoppers to the 88-77 upset win over top-seeded UAB in the Conference USA quarter-finals. (Source: USA Today Sports)
Western Kentucky guard Fredrick Edmond went 7-of-9 from the field on Thursday night, scoring a team-high 19 points to lead the Hilltoppers to the 88-77 upset win over top-seeded UAB in the Conference USA quarter-finals. (Source: USA Today Sports)

Being the top seed heading into a conference tournament doesn’t guarantee you a spot in the NCAA Tournament, or even a win for that matter. Top teams have felt that pain on several occasions throughout the 2015-16 post-season, and Thursday night was no different.

The top-seed in the Conference USA, the UAB Blazers, felt that pain first-hand in the tournament quarter-finals.

During the regular season, the Blazers split their season series with the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at one game apiece. Equipped with their impressive record, the Blazers were mainstay in the CCR Mid-Major Top 20 Power Rankings for the second half of the season, while Western Kentucky was looking for some sort of sustained positive momentum heading into the conference tournament.

Coming into Thursday night’s tilt, the Hilltoppers had won three straight games, and were coming off a win over the North Texas Mean Green in their Conference USA tournament opener on Wednesday. They were looking to keep their strong play rolling, and that they did.

A big first half put the Hilltoppers ahead by 11 at the break, and they would go onto win by the very same margin. Western Kentucky downed the UAB Blazers, 88-77, to advance to the Conference USA semi-finals. Continue reading RECAP: Western Kentucky Knocks Off Top-Seed UAB in Conference USA Quarter-Finals

RECAP: UAB Slips Past Western Kentucky, 71-67

Robert Brown (4) scored a team-high 12 points to help the UAB Blazers knock off the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers on Saturday to give themselves at least a share of the regular season Conference USA crown.
Robert Brown (4) scored a team-high 12 points to help the UAB Blazers knock off the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers on Saturday to give themselves at least a share of the regular season Conference USA crown.

Last season, the UAB Blazers took the college basketball world by storm, becoming one of America’s favourite teams in the opening weekend of the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Their upset victory over the Iowa State Cyclones, as a 14-seed, caught the attention of seemingly everyone, and they are looking to re-create that magic this season.

Coming into Saturday’s action, the Blazers had a two-game lead in the race for the conference title. They were looking to keep that lead with a win over the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.

UAB was also looking for a bit of redemption against the Hilltoppers, as Western Kentucky knocked off the Blazers in their first meeting of the season, 69-62. The season series switched to Birmingham, AL, and the Blazers were looking for one last home win on their home court before post-season play begins.

On Senior Night, it was the Blazers’ lone senior who led the team to victory. Guard Robert Brown scored a team-high 12 points to propel the Blazers past the Hilltoppers, 71-67. Continue reading RECAP: UAB Slips Past Western Kentucky, 71-67

Who Has the Better Chance to Repeat: UAB or Georgia State?

With the departures of Ryan Harrow and R.J. Hunter, T.J. Shipes will look to help lead Georgia State to another NCAA Tournament and another upset in the big dance. (Source: The Score)
With the departures of Ryan Harrow and R.J. Hunter, T.J. Shipes will look to help lead Georgia State to another NCAA Tournament and another upset in the big dance. (Source: The Score)

During the 2015 NCAA Tournament, we saw our fair share of upsets over the duration of the tournament. We saw some Cinderella runs, some unexpected runs, and some big individual performances as the field was narrowed down from 68 to Duke cutting down the nets at the end of it all.

Two of the biggest upsets took place on the first day of the Round of 64. Georgia State and UAB entered the tournament as 14-seeds in their respective regionals, and were projected by many to lose their opening round game.

Nobody told them they weren’t supposed to win, and they proved everyone wrong in the process.

In two of the best games of the entire tournament, UAB took down #3 Iowa State in the South Regional, and Georgia State took down #3 Baylor just hours later in the West Regional.

Both teams would see their Cinderella runs end before they even got started, as both would bow out of the tournament in the Round of 32. UAB would lose to UCLA, and Georgia State would get knocked out by Xavier.

Both of the opening round upsets created more excitement and buzz around the NCAA Tournament, and has since led to a ton of optimism for the future around both of these programs.

But, two questions remain. One, can they recreate that magic again in the 2016 NCAA Tournament if they find themselves in the same situation as last year? Two, which of the two schools has the better chance to pull off another upset?

We take a look into the scenarios for both schools heading into the 2015-16 season to see which one of the two has the better chance of pulling off a program-defining upset for the second season in a row. Continue reading Who Has the Better Chance to Repeat: UAB or Georgia State?