Middle Tennessee at Old Dominion, 8:00 PM Eastern, Stadium Facebook Live
Although most people are thinking of Conference USA as a two team battle between Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky, the truth is that three teams enter today tied for first place in the loss column. Middle Tennessee (8-1) holds a half game lead over Western Kentucky and Old Dominion (both 7-1). Tonight, our Under the Radar Game of the Day presents one of the more intriguing remaining matchups of the season as Middle travels to Norfolk to take on ODU. The visiting Blue Raiders are now 16-5 on the season and have notable wins at Western Kentucky, at Vanderbilt, at Murray State and a two game sweep of Florida Gulf Coast. With their two worst losses being at Marshall and home to Belmont, there is a strong case to be made that this team is worthy of an at-large bid should they fail to capture CUSA’s automatic bid. However, with tonight’s game being their last road game against a top 100 RPI opponent, a win may be a must. Keep an eye, of course, on Nick King who is a scoring and rebounding machine, as well as teammates such as Giddy Potts and Brandon Walters.
Old Dominion enters play tonight at 16-4 overall, though their best win to date was a neutral court victory over Dayton. The Monarchs 247 non-conference Strength of Schedule has likely put them in a position where only an automatic bid will put them in the Big Dance, though a win tonight and a win on February 24 at Western Kentucky might have a chance to upgrade their resume somewhat. Trey Porter may be the key player for ODU tonight, especially is he can put up numbers like he did a few weeks ago against Marshall when we scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Also keep an eye on Randy Haynes, who had 24 points last time out, and BJ Stith, who is another nightly double-double threat.