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2009 Conference USA Basketball Preview

NCAA Basketball Betting – Golden Hurricane takes over Memphis’ throne

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Sports betting players have had it pretty easy over the few years in the Conference-USA: pick Memphis, and keep it moving. But with their head coach and a number of recruits gone, the Tigers are no longer the powers in the C-USA.

Who will replace them?

Memphis Tigers

The Tigers have won 61 straight conference games in the C-USA, and they have to be considered the sports betting favorites again this year. However, their world was turned upside down when John Calipari left for Kentucky, taking a number of recruits with him. Josh Pastner takes over after being promoted, and Doneal Mack is the only experienced player back with the Tigers. Memphis is very young, especially on the wings, and they lost Angel Garcia to a torn ACL. Internet sports betting players need to stay away from the Tigers, at least this year.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane

The Golden Hurricane are probably the best sports betting option to replace Memphis, powered by the duo of Ben Uzoh and Jerome Jordan. They are two of four starters back for Tulsa, who hasn’t reached the NCAA Tournament since 2003. Justin Hurrt can also fill the net, and freshman Bryson Pope is being counted on to add scoring from the wings. If you’re going to bet sports, look at the Golden Hurricane.

Houston Cougars

The Cougars should also challenge in the C-USA sports betting odds, as they have four starters back from last year’s squad. They’ll be looking to reach the Big Dance for the first time since 1992, which was just eight years after the Phi Slama Jama era. Aubrey Coleman and Kelvin Lewis gives the Cougars experience in the backcourt, and Desmond Wade is the distributer. They’ll open up the floor for Nick Mosley, who is now the man in the post.Sports Betting at the Sportsbook

UTEP Miners

The Miners had 23 wins last year, and they return with an experienced group of players (strangely, 11 of their players are juniors). Those juniors will have to replace leading scorer Stefon Jackson, but Julyan Stone and Randy Culpepper should be able to do it, between the two of them. Stone is the Miners’ point, but for their online betting chances to go up, UTEP will need him to score more.

Marshall Thundering Herd

The Thundering Herd are another team with experience coming back to campus as four starters should lead the way. Chris Lutz and Tyler Wilkinson are the top returning players, while Antonio Haymon, a junior-college transfer, should also help. An NCAA Tournament berth is too much to handle for Marshall right now: an NIT berth is what they should look forward to.

2009 Conference-USA Pick

The Memphis era had to end sometime, and it’s this year. Pastner is making his head-coaching debut as the second-youngest coach in the NCAA, and the fact that Calipari took all his recruits doesn’t help. This should come down to a battle between Houston and Tulsa, and their meetings on February 3rd, and then again on the 17th, should decide the champion. Take Tulsa in your sportsbook.

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