Conference USA Tournament Final

The odds are stacked against Houston in the Conference USA finals, as UTEP won the regular season title and has won 16 straight, but their last loss was to Houston and the Cougars are in must win situation to get to the Big Dance.

Houston Cougars (18-15 7-9 C-USA) vs. No. 21 UTEP Miners (26-5 15-1 C-USA) - {URL=http://www.oddsshark.com/Stats/Matchup/Basketball/NCAAB/150697}Matchup Report {/URL}

Bovada has UTEP as 6.5-point favorites in this game with a total of 146.5.

Today in the finals of the C-USA tournament the 21st ranked UTEP Miners face the Houston Cougars. Even if UTEP loses this game they will likely get into the NCAA tournament, but they are not a lock, but the only chance Houston has to play in the tourney is to win this game.

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In the semifinals of the conference tournament Houston beat Southern Mississippi 74-66 and UTEP beat Tulsa 75-61.

This season Houston is 13-16-1 ATS and UTEP is 14-12-1 ATS.

The Cougars have to figure out how to score on a solid Miners’ defense that has only given up an average of 63.6 ppg and in the conference tourney have held their two opponents to 37.1 percent shooting while forcing 33 turnovers.

Even though these two teams split their two games this season UTEP held Houston to an average of 38.9% shooting from the floor.

UTEP has played solid defense against Aubrey Coleman (25.9 ppg), who was the scoring leader in the conference this season, and he will have to have a good scoring game tonight for the Cougars to pull off the upset.

The Miners have a solid inside-outside game with a guard and two forwards averaging in double figures led by G Randy Culpepper (17.8 ppg). However, Culpepper has struggled in two games against Houston this season only totaling 18 points.

Houston will have to shoot the rock well tonight from the outside, as the only two players averaging in double figures are guards Coleman and Kelvin Lewis (15 ppg).

UTEP has a much better frontcourt and a few guys that are solid on the glass so if the Cougars cannot keep the Miners from scoring easy buckets in the paint and dominating the boards they will be in big trouble.

UTEP is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against teams in the Conference USA.

Houston is 4-1 ATS in their last five games against UTEP.

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