Rice (15-12, 8-10) vs. No. 2 seed UAB (21-6, 13-5)
Conference USA Conference Tourney Quarterfinals, Ford Center at The Star, Frisco, Texas; Thursday, 7 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Rice is set to square off against UAB in the quarterfinals of the CUSA tourney. UAB won both of the regular season matchups earlier this season. The teams last met on Jan. 23, when the Blazers forced 19 Rice turnovers and turned the ball over just five times on their way to an 86-74 victory.
BIG MEN ON CAMPUS: The Owls are led by sophomores Quincy Olivari and Max Fiedler. Olivari is averaging 16.3 points and 5.1 rebounds while Fiedler is putting up 10.9 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. The Blazers have been led by Tavin Lovan and Michael Ertel, who are scoring 12.1 and 12.8 per game, respectively.OUTSTANDING OLIVARI: Olivari has connected on 40.3 percent of the 211 3-pointers he’s attempted and has gone 10 for 29 over his last three games. He’s also made 81.6 percent of his free throws this season.
PERFECT WHEN: The Blazers are 18-0 when they hold opposing teams to 64 points or fewer and 3-6 when opponents exceed 64 points. The Owls are 5-0 when recording at least 14 offensive rebounds and 10-12 when they fall short of that total.
ASSIST-TO-FG RATIO: The Owls have recently used assists to create buckets more often than the Blazers. UAB has 18 assists on 70 field goals (25.7 percent) over its past three matchups while Rice has assists on 44 of 77 field goals (57.1 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: The UAB offense has recorded a turnover on only 15.4 percent of its possessions, which is the 18th-lowest rate in the country. The Rice defense has forced opposing teams to turn the ball over on just 17.5 percent of all possessions (ranked 273rd among Division I teams).
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