Knights to Open C-USA Championship Thursday

March 7, 2012

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By Doug Richards

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF men's basketball team will continue its successful campaign Thursday when the No. 4 seeded Knights open the Conference USA Championship with a quarterfinal matchup against either No. 5 UAB or No. 12 Tulane. Tipoff for the contest at the FedExForum is 10 p.m. Eastern and the game will be televised live nationally on CBS Sports Network.

UCF finished the regular season 21-9 overall and at 10-6 in the conference, tied for third in the C-USA standings. The Knights, who have now posted back-to-back 20-win seasons under head coach Donnie Jones, were one of four C-USA squads to earn a first-round bye the league championship. UAB and Tulane will play an opening round contest Wednesday evening. UCF went 2-0 against UAB during the season and won its lone matchup with the Green Wave.

The Knights will be seeking to advance past the C-USA Championship quarterfinals for the first time. UCF would most likely meet tournament host and top seed Memphis if they advance to the semifinals. The championship game is set for Saturday morning and the winner will receive the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

UCF enters the tournament led by junior forward Keith Clanton, who was named to the All-C-USA First Team and the league's all-defensive team earlier this week. The Orlando native scored a game-high 22 points in UCF's win over UAB last Saturday.

All of UCF's games in Memphis will air on the UCF IMG Sports Network and its flagship station, 740 The Game in Orlando. Marc Daniels' pregame coverage will begin at 9:30 p.m. Thursday.