Jan 23, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Rice Owls guard Austin Ramljak (42) drives to the basket during the first half against the Marshall Thundering Herd at Tudor Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports

Conference USA Tournament Preview: (10) North Texas vs. (15) Rice

The men’s portion of the Conference USA tournament tips off at 5:30pm ET as the tenth-seeded North Texas Mean Green square off against the 15th-seeded Rice Owls at Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas.

North Texas at a glance
The Mean Green went 6-10 in Conference USA play (15-15 overall) and come in having lost back-to-back games after winning six straight.

Rice at a glance
The Owls struggled to a 2-14 conference record (7-22 overall) and enter postseason play on a seven-game losing skid. Fun fact: the last team they beat? North Texas (75-70 on February 6). Another fun fact: the only other team they beat in conference play? Charlotte (71-69 on January 25).

Who to watch for
North Texas–Jordan Williams (12.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and Alzee Williams (11.5 ppg). Rice–Sean Obi (11.4 ppg, 9.3 rpg) and Austin Ramljak (11.4 ppg, 39.2% from 3)

The Mean Green will win if
They contain the dual threat of Obi and Ramljak. Obi is the top rebounder in the league while Ramljak is a sharpshooter from downtown. Shut them down, and it should equal a win.

The Owls will win if
Obi and Ramljak get things going. Obi went off for 18 and 13 in Rice’s win over North Texas, and that was even with Ramljak going just 1-4 from three point land.

Winner takes on: Seventh-seeded Tulane tomorrow at 2pm. Both teams lost their regular season matchup against the Green Wave.

Tags: Basketball Charlotte 49ers Charlotte 49ers Men's Basketball Conference USA

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