The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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March 13, 2013

C-USA madness starts tonight

Thundering Herd squares off with Tulane in Tulsa

BECKLEY — It was this week one year ago that Marshall put together its biggest tournament run in seven seasons as a member of Conference USA.

The run fell just short with a loss to Memphis in the championship game. But the march to the title game was good enough to earn the Thundering Herd a spot in the National Invitation Tournament.

Now, leaving Tulsa with a championship trophy in hand is Marshall’s only shot at postseason basketball.

The Herd will take on Tulane at 9:30 p.m. Eastern today in the first round of the 2013 C-USA Tournament at the BOK Center. Marshall (13-18, 6-10) goes in as the ninth seed, while Tulane (18-13, 6-10) is No. 8.

The teams met only once in the regular season, but there is familiarity between them This will be the third time since 2006 that Marshall and Tulane have met in the first round in the 8-9 matchup. Tulane was eighth in ’06 and ninth in 2008, and won both times.

The Green Wave defeated the Herd 91-75 on Feb. 6 behind 23 points from Josh Davis. The Herd also got a 23-point performance, from Elijah Pittman, but 16 turnovers proved Marshall’s undoing.

DeAndre Kane, who was named to the All-Conference USA second team Monday, leads the conference and ranks eighth in the nation with 7.1 assists per game. The junior guard also ranks 10th in the conference with 14.9 points per game.

Kane continues to move up the school’s all-time career lists in several categories. He recently joined Skip Henderson as the only Marshall players to rank in the top 15 in scoring, top 10 in assists and top 10 in steals.

Pittman leads the team in scoring with 16.3 points per game, while senior forward Dennis Tinnon is Marshall's leading rebounder at 9.1 boards per game.

Davis, who is averaging 17.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per game for Tulane, is a first-team selection. Second-team sophomore guard Ricky Tarrant leads the team in scoring with 16.1 points per game.

Marshall leads the all-time series 8-6, but is just 5-7 in the C-USA Tournament.

The winner of tonight’s game will meet No. 1 Memphis in the quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Eastern Thursday.

The semifinals are set for Friday, and Saturday’s championship game (11:35 a.m. Eastern) will be broadcast live on CBS.

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