The Champs Come Home To The Murph Tonight

Date: Thursday, March 2
Time: 6:30 p.m. CT
Teams: Middle Tennessee (25-4, 15-1) vs. FIU (6-23, 2-14)
Location: Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Arena: Murphy Center (11,520)

Conference USA’s regular season champions play host to the FIU Panthers Thursday night in the Murphy Center, as the Blue Raiders will be honored pre-game with a presentation of the 2016-17 regular season championship trophy.

Middle Tennessee locked up its first outright regular season title since joining Conference USA with a 66-64 win at UAB on Sunday. It is the third championship MT has won or shared in C-USA and the sixth in the last eight years dating back to its Sun Belt days.

The Blue Raiders are facing FIU for the 37th time in series history with MT holding a 28-8 advantage over the Panthers. Middle Tennessee has now won five of the last six and 13 of the last 15 meetings. Head Coach Kermit Davis is 25-5 in his 30 contests against FIU.

Middle Tennessee (25-4, 15-1) is led by Conference USA Player of the Year candidate JaCorey Williams and his 17.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Fellow senior Reggie Upshaw pitches in 14.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per outing while junior guard Giddy Potts adds 15 points and 5.4 boards.

The Raiders have been one of the most efficient teams in the league all year long, ranking first in C-USA in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5), turnover margin (+2.9) and field goal percentage (.485).

FIU (6-23, 2-14) has a trio of double-digit scorers in Donte McGill (19.0), Michael Kessens (12.9) and Eric Nottage (11.4). Kessens also ranks second in the league in rebounding with nine boards per game.

The Blue Raiders and Panthers are set to tip at 6:30 p.m. in the Murphy Center following the Conference USA championship trophy presentation. The game will be streamed live on ESPN3.

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