Bernstein Blog- CUSA Tourney Edition - Day 3

UCF is out, but we're still in Memphis following the C-USA Tournament. Join me for another day (Thursday) at the tourney.

7:24- I'm awake, begrudgingly. After brushing my teeth I head over to the gym where I find the Tulsa coaching staff on the treadmills. We make a little small talk about today's matchup with Rice. I'm pretty sure that Tulsa is going to slaughter them.

8:45- I'm out of the shower and feeling okay until I realize that it's 31 degrees outside and it might snow later. That's no fun.

10:25- I'm headed to the Forum to watch the games.

11:30- I just feasted on the media buffet-- hot wings and sandwiches. Today is off to an excellent start.

11:41- I'm sitting on the baseline next to the sideline reporter from CSS. She's attractive.

11:52- Tulsa-Rice will start in about 10 mins.; I can't see Rice being competitive.

12:00- The teams came out for warmups, along with Tulsa's mascot. I know that their nickname is the Golden Hurricane, but I'm not sure exactly what he is. It looks like he has a golden honeycomb on his head.

12:03- The Tulsa band is wearing blue, shiny wigs. Not very masculine.

12:05- Lets get it on.

12:19- Mismatch. Tulsa is up 13-3 and Rice is struggling to do anything. This one could get ugly.

12:30- Somebody call off the dogs. It's 25-3 Tulsa with 6:40 left in the first half. Rice looks tired, Tulsa looks talented.

12:38- You don't think of Tulsa, Oklahoma as a hotbed for women, but I must say their cheerleaders are among the hottest in the C-USA.

12:46- Tulsa, wow! 41-17 at the half and the game isn't even that close. They are hitting on all cylinders.

1:09- Grabbed some pretzels at halftime, now I'm back to enjoy the rest of the blowout.

1:17- We have fireworks. With Tulsa blowing the doors off Rice, Rice guard Lawrence Ghoram stole the ball and was on a breakaway when he was pulled down from behind by Tulsa's Bishop Wheatley. The Rice bench and coaching staff exploded and threatened to storm the court. Ghoram fell hard and was down for about three minutes. Wheatley was ejected from the game. Let's see if this can spark the Owls.

1:26- Rice cut the lead to 19, but a couple shots by Uzoh and Hurtt got it back to 23, and I'm not sure Rice can score 23 more points in this game.

1:56- Rice is still fouling. They are down 70-49 with 1:36 left and they're still fouling. Why do they want to make everyone endure more of this than necessary?

2:05- Mercifully this one is over. Tulsa won, 73-51.

2:28- Went to the post game press conferences, nothing earth-shattering or note worthy. Southern Miss and UAB are warming up and should tipoff in the next 10 minutes or so.

2:35- I'm intrigued at this game. Southern Miss played their best game yesterday as they killed UCF, and I hope they didn't run out of gas. UAB looks much more athletic, but I think Southern Miss can hang around. I'm just hoping for a tight game, something we really haven't seen much in this tournament.

2:51- Nice start to the game. Both teams have made runs and it's 17-15 Southern Miss with about 13 minutes left. Few turnovers, not many fouls, just a nice high level of play.

2:56- The Blazers are so much taller than Southern Miss, that Southern Miss is forced to go zone. This will open up the outside, and we've seen UAB already made four three-point shots.

3:04- UAB hit another three and Southern Miss has gone ice cold. The smaller Eagles can't seem to grab a rebound and they seem to be barely hanging on as the score is 24-19.

3:11- Southern Miss is playing harder than UAB, as they are the ones diving to the ground for loose balls. With the disparity in talent between the two teams, that's what they need to do.

3:18- Jeremy Wise is a very good player, it's too bad Southern Miss couldn't play like this all season long.

3:30- Southern Miss ended the half on a 13-1 run to take a six-point lead. Wise scored 11 straight points and has 19 at the break. Can't wait for the second half to start.

3:54- Southern Miss has a double digit lead, and Lawrence Kinnard can't hit anything. I think we may have an upset here, but here's plenty of time left.

4:02- Well played game, Southern Miss is still up by 10.

4:04- UAB has gone to a press. Let's see if they can force some turnovers. Here comes the run, UAB has cut the lead to six.

4:13- Vaden just hit a three for UAB and he was fouled shooting another one on the next possession. He hit just one of three, and the lead is cut to four.

4:18- Three-point play by Aaron Johnson of UAB, one-point game.

4:27- Tie game with less than a minute remaining. I knew we'd get a good game eventually.

4:29- Layup by Courtney Beasley to give Southern Miss a two-point lead with 28 seconds left.

4:30- Robert Vaden is fouled. He makes the first, misses the second. Craft is fouled with a chance to ice the game.

4:33- Craft hits both free throws. Southern Miss up 3 w/ 9.5 seconds left.

4:35- Delaney buries the three to tie the game. What a game!

4:41- Kinnard scores and is fouled to give UAB a one-point lead.

4:43- We're on the seesaw. Wise hits two free throws to give Southern Miss the lead, then Delaney is fouled and makes both to give UAB the lead right back.

4:46- Down by two, Courtney Beasley drives over three defenders and scores and is fouled. USM up by one.

5:04- Two free throws by UAB, followed by a runner by Beasley to put Southern Miss up by one with 5.4 left.

5:05- Paul Delaney drove the stake in the Golden Eagles heart's again as he went the length of the court to score as time expired.

5:05- Ridiculously awesome game!

5:57- The arena is getting full because the Memphis Tigers are about to dismantle the Tulane Green Wave.

5:59- I can't help but notice, the Memphis cheerleaders are not all that pretty. I gotta be honest, I was expecting a little more.

6:03- The Tigers basketball team are treated like rock stars around here. The place is pretty close to packed.

6:10- Great energy in the building. Nearly everyone is dressed in blue. These people really love their team.

7:04- Just did a radio interview as I was grilled about the AFC South and the draft. I was talking for about 45 minutes and I'm tired of talking now.

7:09- Memphis is down four points and this place is stunned. I'm expecting the Memphis run to happen any time now.

7:18- Here comes the run. Memphis' press is causing Tulane some big problems. 12-0 run puts the Tigers up eight points.

7:36- Tyreke Evans makes everything look effortless. The fans here are spoiled.

7:55- Tulane just went nearly 13 minutes of game action without scoring a single point. The is the best defensive team I've ever seen.

8:10- Memphis wins #58 in a row in conference, 51-41

8:25- Calipari is angry in the post-game. He said if they play like that tomorrow that they'll lose. He may be right.

8:35- Tipoff just occurred for Houston-UTEP. Should be an entertaining game.

8:42- Five minutes into the game Houston is up 7-3. Lots of missed shots by both teams, obviously more by UTEP.

8:43- The UTEP dance team is named the "Gold-diggers." That's hilarious.

8:48- Houston is starting to make shots, they're up 13-3.

8:52- These Houston Cougars are a pretty good team.

8:59- 26-9 Houston, this could be a blowout. The way they are playing, they could challenge Memphis.

9:11- I just went to get some pretzels and water. While I was gone, UTEP went on a 12-0 run to make this a game again.

9:19- 17-0 run, UTEP is back in this thing.

9:23- Houston is up 34-29 at the half.

9:25- Definition of irony—The "Gold-diggers" are doing a dance routine from a Britney Spears song. What's funny is that Spears lost a ton of money in her divorce to her "gold-digging" husband.

10:21- This is my eighth game in the last 36 hours. I'm a little delirious.

10:31- Overtime. Stefon Jackson hits a short jumper. Great! Five more minutes of this.

10:45- Houston wins, I'm outta here. If Memphis plays like they did today, Houston will have a real shot. That being said, Memphis will probably win by 20 because they're simply that good. And it helps to play on your home court.


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