Men's basketball hits the prime time

Middle Tennessee's Feb. 4 contest at Denver has been selected by ESPN as the Sun Belt's wildcard men's basketball game, the network announced today. Tipoff is slated for 3 p.m. CT, a change from the originally scheduled 5 p.m. CT start, and the game will air nationally on either ESPN or ESPN2. The station will be finalized 7-10 days prior to the contest.

The Blue Raiders are off to their best start since the 1974-75 season at 15-2 and sit atop the Sun Belt East Division at 4-0, one of only two remaining undefeated teams in league play. MT is currently riding a seven-game winning streak, matching the longest streak during the 10-year tenure of head coach Kermit Davis. The Blue Raiders look to continue the streak Thursday with a 6:30 p.m. CT contest at FIU.

Denver has won seven of its last eight and holds a 13-3 record heading into tonight's contest at Colorado State. The Pioneers are second in the league's West Division with a 3-1 record after suffering their only conference loss to UALR on Dec. 31.

The contest will pit the league's top two shooting teams and scoring defenses against each other. MT leads the league with a 49.5 shooting percentage, which also ranks 11th nationally, while Denver is shooting 48.1 percent. The Pioneers' top the league in scoring defense, giving up 59.2 points per game compared to the Blue Raiders' 61.1 points allowed per game. It will also feature six of the league's top nine shooters. MT's Shawn Jones (2nd), JT Sulton (3rd), Marcos Knight (5th) and Laron Dendy (7th), along with Denver's Chris Udofia (6th) and Brian Stafford (9th), highlight the matchup.

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