HUNTINGTON — With the regular season over, all eyes for Marshall’s men’s and women’s basketball teams are set on Texas this week.
Following the completion of Saturday’s games, Marshall’s men’s and women’s teams found out their times and potential opponents for the Conference USA tournament, which starts Tuesday in Frisco, Texas.
For Marshall’s men, the Thundering Herd did what it needed to do to put itself in position for a bye by sweeping Charlotte, but Old Dominion’s win over Western Kentucky on Friday left the Herd as the No. 3 seed in the East Division.
That means the Herd will play at 7 p.m. Wednesday against the winner of Tuesday’s West Division play-in game between No. 6 Rice and No. 7 Southern Miss.
Marshall head coach Dan D’Antoni said his team is eager to get back down and chase its championship dreams.
“It’s a tough road and anybody can win this tournament coming up,” D’Antoni said. “We just have to come out every game and play like we’re running a race. Don’t look around you, don’t look back. Just run to the tape as fast as you can go.
“We’re going to play the way we play, we’re not going to worry about what all everyone is doing around us. We’re going to run for the tape and we’re not looking back.”
D’Antoni feels like his team is playing some of its best ball of the season as it heads to Frisco for the tournament.
Marshall women’s coach Tony Kemper also feels as if his team is peaking over the last three weeks as it heads to Frisco.
Over the final three weeks, Kemper’s team faced the top seed in each division (Rice in West, Middle Tennessee in East) and then-No. 2 seed North Texas in the West Division.
Marshall split with all three teams and was within one defensive stop at North Texas and a five-minute offensive lull at Middle Tennessee of earning road sweeps.
Kemper knows his team can play with anyone, but the Herd’s road will not be an easy one as the No. 5 seed.
Marshall’s women play at 3 p.m. Wednesday against Louisiana Tech. The Herd and Bulldogs split two games in Huntington to begin league play in 2021.
Louisiana Tech won in overtime in game one before the Herd earned a 61-57 win in the second game. At the time, Marshall had just seven players due to a COVID-19 shutdown prior to the series.
Both teams are expected to travel to Frisco, Texas, on Monday in preparation for the Conference USA tournament.
Play-in games start on Tuesday afternoon in both divisions at The Ford Center at The Star. All 14 teams in the league advanced to the tournament.