WKU basketball: Hilltoppers open conference tournament against Marshall


The second season for WKU basketball is here! While Tops’ fans everywhere were hoping they wouldn’t have to worry about playing today, it’s time to start thinking “what would have been” with a first round bye, and start focusing on what lies ahead for the Hilltoppers, as they’ll open play in their first ever Conference USA basketball tournament in the #5/#12 game against the Marshall Thundering Herd.

Before the Tops ever take the court in a conference tournament game, they faced the music, er, media, and had some good things to say about preparedness, something that seemed to lack down the final month of the regular season.

So, they’re saying all the right things in tournament time. Which should be expected. But, the Tops’ are a pro’s pro team – if that’s even a thing in college – they don’t just make conference tournaments, they expect to win conference tournaments. So they’re saying all the right things. Which, okay sure is a start, but it’s the play on the court that matters.

This was a weird season series, so there really isn’t a way to predict how things will play out tonight. The first game was a big one for the Tops in many ways. Not only was it the first ever C-USA conference game in WKU basketball history, but it also was an easy 81-62 victory for the Tops, which saw T.J. Price, George Fant and DJ Clayton (from the bench) all score in double figures.

The second game, back on Valentine’s Day, went a bit differently. Despite five Toppers scoring in double figures, the Tops could never completely erase or nullify a six-point lead in the second half, and missed shots down the stretch lead to an 82-87 loss.

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I think tonight, we’ll see a game that lies somewhere between the 19 and five point differentials. Both teams can rebound like nobody’s business, but the Herd can struggle to score according to their national scoring ranking (173rd in the nation – 67.5 points per game). The Tops have done a better job of putting points on the board this year than in years past, scoring 72.5 per game (57th in the country), and their post-season experience, I think, will be enough to lead them past the Herd tonight.

It’ll be a game of the battle down low, for sure, as well as a game from the long ball, as both teams live and die by the three. It’ll also be a game of “which Hilltoppers squad shows up,” as we’ve seen them play like the best team in the conference, and we’ve also seen them lose to Rice.

Here’s your game info:

Date: March 11th, 2015

Tip-off Time: 6:00 p.m. CT

TV Channel: American Sports Network (Click here to see what channel near you carries it), WKYU in Bowling Green, WKLY’s MeTV in Louisville

Radio: Sam FM 100.7 FM (WKLX) (Full list of WKU IMG Sports Network affiliates)

Live Stream: AmericanSportsNet.com

Next: How Difficult Would a C-USA Championship Game Appearance Be to Make? See the Road WKU Would Face in Birmingham