March 10, 2009
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane Green Wave opens the 2009 Conference USA Tournament against the East Carolina Pirates at 6 p.m. (CST) this Wednesday at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn. Live audio and video of the game is available on a pay-per-view basis with the All-Access package on the internet at TulaneGreenWave.com.
Tulane (13-16) finished in eighth-place in the 2009 C-USA race with a 7-9 mark, which is one spot ahead of where the Wave finished a year ago. This is TU's second straight appearance and its third showing in the last four years in the No. 8/9 game. Last year, the ninth-seeded Green Wave upset eighth-seeded Marshall, 48-47, in the 8/9 game.
The Wave had its three-game win streak snapped in the regular season finale at No. 5/3 Memphis (74-47), but has won three out of its last four contests and four out of its last seven outings. Other than Memphis, Tulane's only other losses were to UAB and Houston, the league's third- and fifth-place teams, respectively. TU's three straight wins came against Marshall (57-51), at Southern Miss (73-59) and UTEP (86-77), the league's fourth-place team.
The Green Wave is 1-1 this season at neutral sites. Tulane fell to UC Davis (62-76) and downed Maine (66-56) at the USA Basketball Classic in Mobile, Ala.
Junior Kevin Sims leads TU in scoring with 13 points per game and assists with 3.96 per outing, while sophomore Kris Richard and Robinson Louisme are second and third in scoring with 10.9 and 10.6 points per contest, respectively. Louisme is also the top rebounder with 6.9 boards per outing.
East Carolina (13-16) drew the ninth seed with a 5-11 conference mark this season, which is one spot ahead of where it finish a year ago. The Pirates enter the 2009 Conference USA Tournament mired in a five-game skid and has lost six of their last seven contests. ECU's last win came against Rice (91-88) in overtime on Feb. 14. The Pirates are 0-5 in the Conference USA Tournament and have fallen to Tulsa the last two years. East Carolina is 0-1 on neutral floors this season, dropping a 63-55 decision to Coastal Carolina in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Sam Hinnant leads four players in double figure scoring with 14.9 points, while James Legan is second with 12.1 and Brock Young and Jamar Abrams are third and fourth with 10.0 and 10 points per game, respectively. Darrius Morrow is the team's top rebounder with 6.5 boards per outing.
Wednesday's game marks the 12th all-time meeting between Tulane and East Carolina, and the Green Wave leads the series, 9-2. The teams split this season's two meetings with each squad capturing a victory on their respective home floor. ECU edged TU, 69-66, in the league opener for both schools on Jan. 7 in Greenville, while Tulane returned the favor with a 73-64 win at Fogelman Arena on Feb. 11. Tulane and East Carolina have never faced each other in the Conference USA Tournament. Thus, Wednesday's meeting will mark the first contest between the two schools at a neutral site. TU had its seven-game win streak in the series snapped with the loss in the conference opener.
TULANE AS THE NO. 8 SEED
Tulane will be making its second appearance as the No. 8 seed in the Conference USA Tournament. TU was also the No. 8 seed in the 2006 C-USA Tourney and dispatched Marshall, 64-58, before falling to No. 2 Memphis, 75-56.
TULANE IN THE CONFERENCE USA TOURNAMENT
Tulane is making its 14th appearance in the Conference USA Tournament and has an all-time record of 5-13. The Green Wave's best showing in the postseason classic came in 2000 and 2007 when those teams advanced to the semifinals before bowing out. The 2000 squad lost to Saint Louis (64-46), while the 2007 team fell to eventual champion and fifth-ranked Memphis, 71-49.
THE WAVE IN C-USA FIRST ROUND GAMES
The Green Wave has a mark of 4-5 in first round games. TU downed Saint Louis (50-47) in 2002, Houston (74-52) in 2003, Marshall (64-58) in 2006 and Marshall in 2008 (48-47). Tulane's last loss in the first round came against DePaul (81-71) in 2005.
TU IN THE C-USA TOURNEY UNDER DICKERSON
Tulane has a record of 3-3 in the Conference USA Tournament under head coach Dave Dickerson, and has never lost a first round game under the fourth-year coach. Last year, the ninth-seeded Green Wave dumped Marshall (48-47) before falling to Memphis (75-56).
In 2007, Tulane was a No. 4 seed and earned a first round bye. The Green Wave defeated fifth-seeded Tulsa (58-56) in the quarterfinal, but fell to top seed Memphis in the semifinals. In Dickerson's rookie season of 2005-06, the Wave upended Marshall in the first round and lost to Memphis (75-56) in the quarterfinals.
THE C-USA TOURNAMENT IN MEMPHIS
The Conference USA Tournament is making its fifth straight appearance in Memphis, Tenn., and has been held in the "Bluff City" a total of seven times since the league's inception in 1995-96. The 2005-09 tournaments have been hosted at the FedExForum, while The Pyramid hosted the inaugural C-USA Tournament in 1996 and again in 2000.
TULANE IN THE FEDEXFORUM
Tulane has an all-time record of 3-6 at the FedExForum, including a 3-3 mark in the Conference USA Tournament. TU is 0-3 against the Memphis Tigers, who have played their home games at the facility since its inception in 2004-05.
TO THE WINNER, GOES...No. 4/3 MEMPHIS
The winner of the Tulane/East Carolina game will face top-seeded and No. 4/3 Memphis in a C-USA Tournament Quarterfinal game on Thursday, March 12 at 6 p.m. Should the Wave down the Pirates, Tulane will face the Tigers in the tournament for the fourth straight year.