No. 7 seed Florida International (9-17, 2-15) vs. No. 6 seed Middle Tennessee (5-17, 3-13)
Conference USA Conference Tourney First Round, Ford Center at The Star, Frisco, Texas; Tuesday, 8:30 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Florida International and Middle Tennessee are set to do battle in the opening round of the CUSA tournament. The teams split the regular season series at one win apiece. The teams last met on Jan. 9, when the Blue Raiders shot 42.9 percent from the field while holding Florida International to just 38.6 percent on the way to a 67-56 victory.
PLENTY OF EXPERIENCE: Each of these teams has relied heavily on their seniors this year. Jordan Davis, Jo’Vontae Millner-Criss, Jalen Jordan, DeAndre Dishman and Dontrell Shuler have combined to account for 62 percent of Middle Tennessee’s scoring this season. For Florida International, Tevin Brewer, Dimon Carrigan, Radshad Davis and Eric Lovett have collectively accounted for 43 percent of all Florida International scoring, including 50 percent of the team’s points over its last five games.
FACILITATING THE OFFENSE: Brewer has had his hand in 42 percent of all Florida International field goals over the last three games. The senior guard has 12 field goals and 18 assists in those games.
WINLESS WHEN: The Panthers are 0-10 when they score 66 points or fewer and 9-7 when they exceed 66 points. The Blue Raiders are 0-12 when allowing 67 or more points and 5-5 when holding opponents below 67.
ASSIST-TO-FG RATIO: The Panthers have recently used assists to create buckets more often than the Blue Raiders. Middle Tennessee has 28 assists on 54 field goals (51.9 percent) across its past three outings while Florida International has assists on 44 of 71 field goals (62 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: Florida International as a team has made 10.5 3-pointers per game this season, which is seventh-most among Division I teams. The Panthers have made only 8.6 3-pointers per game over their seven-game losing skid, however.
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