FAU currently sits at No. 10 in the conference after its dominating home victory against North Texas last Thursday. The Owls can climb to as high as No. 7, or drop to the final seed at No. 12 depending on how they – and a few other conference foes – finish the season.
Here is a look at where the Owls stand heading into the final week:
Best case scenario: FAU wins its final two games; North Texas, Louisiana Tech, and FIU all lose out. In this scenario the Owls would enter the tournament as the No. 7 seed.
Worst case scenario: FAU loses its final two games; both UTEP and Southern Miss win out, dropping FAU to the bottom seed at No. 12.
Most realistic scenario: FAU splits its final two games with a loss at Old Dominion on Thursday and a win at bottom-dweller Charlotte; Louisiana Tech loses against Southern Miss; FIU picks up a win at Charlotte and loses its season finale against Old Dominion; North Texas splits its final two games against UTSA and UTEP. If those results materialized, FAU would finish where it currently stands at No. 10 after having lost the tiebreaker with Louisiana Tech earlier in the season in a Feb. 1 head-to-head loss.
The first of FAU’s final two games is tonight against Old Dominion, who is currently third in the conference. The Monarchs rode a six-game winning streak into a brick wall last Thursday with a blowout loss against Western Kentucky.
Old Dominion has incentive to play hard against FAU; the Monarchs would take the No. 2 seed heading into the tournament if they win their final two games and Western Kentucky loses out.
FAU’s plays its season finale on the road against the Charlotte 49ers on Saturday. Charlotte has lost 14 straight games and sits at the bottom of the conference with a 1-15 C-USA record.
Louisiana Tech finishes the season on the road against current No. 11 Southern Miss on Saturday. Louisiana Tech blew out Southern Miss 89-66 in a home January match-up.
Despite a solid 11-5 home record, the Bulldogs hold an abysmal 1-9 record on the road. The Owls hope that trend carries over to Hattiesburg on Saturday.
After starting the season 7-4 in conference play, North Texas has suffered a free fall in the standings, losing five straight games dropping them to the No. 7 seed at 7-9.
The Mean Green finish the season with home games against UTSA and UTEP. North Texas defeated both teams on the road in its first two conference games this season. North Texas plays significantly better at home (9-5) than on the road (5-10).
FIU finishes the season playing the same two final opponents as FAU (Charlotte and Old Dominion).
After FAU defeated FIU at home in mid February to split the head-to-head series, the Panthers responded by winning two straight games and currently hold the No. 8 seed with a 7-9 conference record.
If FAU wins against Old Dominion on Thursday and finishes with the same record as FIU, the Owls would hold a tiebreaker over the Panthers.
FAU coach Michael Curry expects there will be plenty of shakeups in the standings during the final weekend.
“Seeding for the tournament is going to be decided up until the last horn in Charlotte next Saturday,” Curry said.
- Justin Massey poured in 24 points in a big win against North Texas on Thursday. FAU continued its trend that in each conference win this season, Massey has knocked down at least three triples.
- After scoring 70 points in conference games only three times heading into a mid February matchup against FIU, the Owls have scored 70 plus in three-straight games. FAU hasn’t lost a game this season in when it reached 70 points in regulation.
- Payton Hulsey had one his strongest offensive games of the season with a 12-point performance on 6-10 shooting in the Owls win over North Texas. Hulsey used his six-foot-five frame to score over smaller North Texas guards in the post. Curry said after the game that he will implement more Hulsey post touches into the offense for the final stretch of the season. “Usually when we call a couple of post ups for [Hulsey] he tends to be a little more scoring minded,” Curry said. “We need him to score every night in that starting lineup so he can take some of the pressure off Massey and Ronald [Delph].”
- William Pfister is the least productive scorer among C-USA players averaging at least 20 minutes per game, averaging only 3.1 points per game. Despite being one of two Owls to start every game this season (Delph), Pfister has been held scoreless five times. Pfister has turned over the ball 36 times this season while making only 37 field goals.
Around C-USA: AP No. 24 Middle Tennessee continues its dominance over C-USA with a 15-1 record in conference play. Western Kentucky won in a crucial matchup against Old Dominion to give them an edge over the Monarchs for the No. 2 seed in the conference; the Hilltoppers currently have a 14-2 conference record while Old Dominion sits a game behind at 13-3.
Working Women: After dropping six-straight games, the Lady Owls swept their final two-game homestretch of the season. Leading scorer (17.2) and rebounder (8.0) Sasha Cedeño has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a stress fracture in her right foot. The Lady Owls hope to continue their momentum on the road against Marshall on Thursday March 1 at 6 p.m.
Game Of The Week: With a win against No. 3 seed Old Dominion on Thursday, the Owls would put themselves in the driver’s seat to gain an edge in the conference standings. Tip off in Norfolk is set for 7 p.m.