From the Sun Belt Conference
The two favorites to finish atop the Sun Belt Conference Men's Basketball East Division standings, WKU and Middle Tennessee, will square off in an ESPN2 nationally televised game on Jan. 26, with a 3 p.m. CT tipoff, the league announced Friday.
The game was chosen by ESPN as part of the Sun Belt Conference's wildcard selection.
Reigning SBC Tournament champion WKU (10-6, 4-1 SBC) got off to its best start in conference play since the 2005-06 campaign. The Hilltoppers are on a 12-game home winning streak which is the 10th-longest active streak in the nation.
Senior T.J. Price leads the squad in points with 14.6 per game. He has reached double-figures in 12 of his last 15 outings. In conference play, junior Brandon Harris has dished out 18 assists and has just four turnovers while averaging 30.3 minutes per game.
As a team, the Hilltoppers have hit at least five three-pointers in nine of its last 10 games, and has outrebounded 11 of its last 12 opponents. WKU's 12-game home winning streak is its longest since winning 15 in-a-row in 2007-08.
WKU has been one of the league's most consistent teams, reaching the SBC Tournament semi-finals eight consecutive times. It entered the week leading the SBC in rebounding margin at +5.9. The five programs it fell to this season (Southern Miss., Iowa, Murray State, VCU and Louisville) have a combined record of 52-14.
MT (11-4, 3-1 SBC) is undefeated at 8-0 in home games this season. The Blue Raiders hold a 22-2 record at Murphy Center over the past two seasons and have won 20 straight regular-season games at Murphy Center.
Dating back to last season, MT has won seven of its last nine SBC affairs. It ranks 23rd in the country in three-point field goal percentage defense holding opponents to a .271 clip.
Senior Marcos Knight leads the team with 12.9 points per game and has reached double figures in all but three games this season. Junior Shawn Jones is a big contributor with 9.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per contest and has registered three double-doubles on the year.
The Blue Raiders were unanimously picked to win the SBC East Division this year and received votes in the USA Today coaches' preseason poll. They currently lead the league in scoring margin (+9.7), scoring defense (59.5 p/g) and assists (14.0 a/g).