Tournament time: UAB heads to Tulsa

By on March 12, 2013

The Men’s basketball team will head in to the C-USA tournament coming off of key losses that demonstrate exactly the kind of team UAB this season: Average.

Jerod Haase went 15-16 in his first year as UAB's head coach. Kyle Thompson/Staff Photographer

Jerod Haase went 15-16 in his first year as UAB’s head coach. Kyle Thompson/Staff Photographer

Against the lesser competition in C-USA and league play UAB fared well, going 6-1 against the bottom 6 teams in league play but against the top five seeds UAB went 1-8. This just proves UAB handles the bottom competition well, beating who they are supposed to beat, yet struggling to beat the better teams in the league.

In the conference tournament, UAB will take on a SMU team who is 15-16 on the season just like UAB and who have 6-11 C-USA record. The Blazers should take care of business against the lesser Mustangs as they did earlier in the season when the two teams met in Bartow, with the Blazers notching a 74-69 victory and was UAB’s final win of the season.

In order for the Blazers to not be a below 500 basketball team and prevent the forth losing season in program history, Jared Haase’s team must win the opening two games of the tournament.

If the Blazers beat the Mustangs, they will move on to match up against the second seed Southern Miss Golden Eagles. In the two meetings this season, UAB lost by a combined 19 points, 15 in Hattiesburg and fell by a slim margin of 4 here in Birmingham.

The gap between the top overall seed, Memphis, and the rest of the league is significant. No one beat the Tigers this year in conference play as they have lost just one game in their past twenty two games with the lone loss coming to a non conference opponent Xavier as they fell by 2 points on the road. Memphis is the only top twenty five team and the conference in league without much parody.

C-USA used to be one of the most dominate conferences in college basketball boasting teams, like Louisville, Marquette, Cincinnati, DePaul, Memphis, Southern Miss, UAB, Richmond and recruits wanted to come into a league with such notable team with at least four to five teams getting into the NCAA tournament almost every year.

Now, the C-USA could only hope to get two in. Memphis is basically a lock, with Southern Miss needing a strong conference tournament run as right now they are currently in the second four out by bracketologist Joe Lunardi. So in order for the conference to get a second team in, they have to win the C-USA title.

Could this be the year for UAB? Most likely no. It would have to be almost a complete turn around for a team that has struggled against decent competition. UAB was promised a winning season, yet beating a Southern Miss squad who will be playing hard to try and impress their way into the big dance is going to be a tall order. And that is all a conditional, because the Blazers may not even get past SMU. Historically, UAB has not performed well in this tournament, including a first round exit after winning C-USA a few years back. So don’t put it past the Green and Gold to fall in the first round.

Blazer fans will just have to look forward to next season in hopes of things turning around after what looks to be the first back-to-back losing seasons in program history.

Tripp Larsen
Sports Editor

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About Tripp Larsen

I am life long Blazer fan, who wishes the best for the program. I am 22 year old psychology major. If you have any comments or arguments feel free to comment, or send me an email at Writers are wanted so if you want to become a member of the staff send an email or come down to the student media office.
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