March 9, 2009
It is just amazing to me that we sit here on Monday night, preparing for the call-in show, and getting ready for the Conference USA Tournament this week in Memphis. I swear we just got back from Arizona (with a quality win, I might add). The season has flown by, again, and it's time to get ready for the best time of year for college hoops fans.
The Blazers wrapped up the regular season and sent the seniors out in style on Saturday afternoon. The win over Marshall accomplished a lot for this team. For one thing, it helped erase a little bit of the nightmare that was the trip to El Paso last week. The Miners celebrated their senior night by watching one of their two honorees hang 30 points on the Green and Gold. It was an ugly night in West Texas, and I'll not be talking any more about that game.
The Senior Day festivities were touching, as always. The fans were mighty supportive and appreciative of the five young men honored. Paul Delaney III, Lawrence Kinnard, Mike Davis, Jr., Channing Toney and Robert Vaden enjoyed their special day, and picking up a win made the day complete. Mike Davis, Jr., hitting a three in the closing seconds was a little icing on the cake.
The win over the Thundering Herd also assured UAB of an opening-round bye at the C-USA Tournament this week. The Blazers clinched third place (11-5 in C-USA), and the top four seeds all get an extra day of rest. The Green and Gold will face the winner of UCF and Southern Miss on Thursday afternoon at FedEx Forum in Memphis. Tip time will be at 2:30 PM, and our coverage on the Blazers ISP Sports Network will begin at 2 PM.
By finishing third, the Blazers find themselves matched up with UCF, Southern Miss, Rice, Marshall and Tulsa. Mike Davis
and company wouldn't see the home-standing Tigers until Saturday morning's championship game. UAB would love another crack at the #3 team in America, but there is business to tend to before that can happen. You can find a copy of the bracket online at http://conferenceusa.cstv.com
the official website of Conference USA. A Blazer win on Thursday would mean a spot in the semifinals, and those two games tip at 3 PM and 5:30 PM on Friday.
UAB can take all the guesswork out of their post-season future by simply winning three games in three days at FedEx Forum. Win the tournament, and an NCAA bid is guaranteed. Anything short of that means we'll all be watching anxiously on Sunday evening for confirmation of where exactly we'll spend the rest of our post-season. I believe anything is possible, and I'd be willing to bet every other team in the league would be wary of facing the Blazers.
Congratulations to our three All-Conference Team members. Paul Delaney III, Lawrence Kinnard and Robert Vaden all earned much-deserved accolades from league coaches and media members. I really thought Paul had a chance at (and deserved) making the First Team. He and Robert were both named to the Second Team, while Lawrence was voted to the Third Team. If you haven't seen the list, UAB and Memphis led the way with three selections each, while Houston, UTEP and Tulsa each had two honorees. The rest of the post-season awards from Conference USA will be handed out as the week progresses.
Here's hoping for a nice, long run through the post-season. I'd LOVE to work into April! You'll be able to follow all the action on the Blazers ISP Sports Network.
In other news...softball got their C-USA slate off on the right foot by taking two-of-three from Southern Miss in Birmingham last weekend. Now, Marla Townsend's team gets set to host rival Alabama on Tuesday night. It's the softball team's "Breast Cancer Awareness" game, and the first 200 fans will receive a free t-shirt. George Ward Park should be rocking with the Tide in town, who, by the way, also happens to be the number one team in America...not many times you get to play host to #1, so I hope you'll come on out Tuesday at 6:30 PM to root on the Blazers. The weather should be fantastic, so come out and enjoy.
Baseball is scoring runs in bunches right now...the problem is the opponents are, too. Brian Shoop took his team to Baylor last weekend for a tournament. The Blazers went 1-2 in the event with a win over South Alabama and losses to UC-Irvine and the host Baylor Bears. It was a quality field, and then some, so let's hope it will pay some dividends down the line. UAB will entertain UT-Martin on Tuesday and Wednesday at Young Memorial Field, and then the Blazers welcome the Harvard Crimson to the Magic City for a four-game series this weekend.
Well, let's go get our tournament game faces on and get ready for a wonderful trip to Memphis. I hope we'll see a lot of Green and Gold amongst all that blue. If you can't make it in person, please tune in to the Blazers ISP Sports Network for all the action.
Have a great week (especially if it's your Spring Break)...eat some ribs in Memphis...win three games...bring home a trophy...head to the Big Dance...and GO BLAZERS!!!