Concerning the C-USA tourney, the Herd appears headed for the dreaded 8-vs.-9 first-round game, in which the winner gets the honor of taking on top-seeded Memphis in the quarterfinals. On their way to the Big Whatever conference next year, the Tigers are unbeaten in league play, pillaging most foes along the way.
What happens to the Herd if it loses today is easiest to diagram. A loss and a Southern Methodist victory over third-place Texas-El Paso would knock MU down to the 10th seed - and remember, UTEP is a notoriously shaky road team.
Should the Herd win today, it will join the middle of the pack, but that won't be much help. Almost all tiebreakers work against the Herd: It is 1-5 against the five teams either tied, a game ahead or a game behind.
Tulsa and UAB are tied for the fifth seed at 7-8 and UAB owns the tiebreaker, but that shouldn't matter. Tulsa plays at cellar-dweller Rice and UAB visits Memphis today, so you can pencil in the Golden Hurricane for the bye and UAB to join at least a two-way tie at 7-9.
The Houston-Tulane winner will be the second team. If Marshall makes it a threesome, it is still stuck with a No. 8 seed.
The only way Marshall can rise to No. 7 seed is if it wins, Memphis beats UAB, Tulane beats Houston and Rice beats Tulsa. That presents a four-way tie for No. 5, which would go UAB 5, Tulane 6, Marshall 7 and Tulsa at No. 8.
Do not hold your breath.
As for the Herd's first-round opponent, most scenarios have an eighth- or ninth-seeded Herd playing the Houston-Tulane loser. If the Herd falls to 10th, its opponent likely will be Tulane or UAB.
One note about game times: In a change from previous practice, host Tulsa will get the latest game in the first and second rounds, 9:30 p.m. EDT. But if it wins the fifth bye, it will get Wednesday off, thus pushing the 8-vs.-9 game to 9:30 with the winner playing Memphis at 7 Thursday.
With Central Florida out of the tournament, there will a single session of three first-round games Wednesday, with 4:30, 7 and 9:30 tipoffs. Second-round times are the usual 1, 3:30, 7 and 9:30.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130 or dougsm...@wvgazette.com or at twitter.com/dougsmock.