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Full preview for C-USA Championship game between UAB-FAU

Conference USA will award their automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament to the winner of UAB vs. FAU on Saturday. Here’s what you need to know.

UAB Blazers guard Jordan Walker makes a free throw against the North Texas Mean Green during the first half at Ford Center at The Star. Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The championship game for the 2023 Conference USA Tournament will feature the No. 3 UAB Blazers taking on the No. 1 Florida Atlantic Owls on Saturday, March 11 at 8:30 p.m. ET. The game will air on CBS Sports Network, and the winner will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

No. 3 UAB 25-8 (14-6 C-USA), 57 NET, 54 KenPom

UAB finds itself in the Conference USA Tournament championship game for a second straight year and is looking to claim back-to-back titles before departing for the American next season. Led by Jordan “Jelly” Walker, the Blazers have ripped off eight straight victories heading into the title game, including victories over Rice and North Texas in the league tournament.

According to KenPom metrics, UAB has one of the quickest offenses in the nation as its ranked 35th in tempo. It is also excellent on the offensive glass with an offensive rebound rate of 36.4%. A win here would clinch the Blazers their 17th trip to the NCAA Tournament in program history.

No. 1 FAU 30-3 (18-2 C-USA), 15 NET, 29 KenPom

Florida Atlantic has enjoyed its best season in program history this year and has stood tall on top of Conference USA for the duration of the campaign. Anchored by the trio of Johnell Davis, Alijah Martin, and Vladislav Goldin, the Owls had a broken off a nation-leading 20-game win streak at one point during the regular season and has won six straight heading into the league tournament title game. They were able to handle Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee in both of their tournament games over the past few days to get this point.

Should FAU lose, there’s still a chance it could get into the NCAA Tournament as an at-large. The Owls are ranked 15th in NET and 29th in KenPom, so unlike several other mid-major programs, the metrics recognize them as one of the better teams in the country. A victory would clinch the program just its second trip to the NCAA Tournament, the first coming in 2002.

How to watch the C-USA Tournament Championship Game

When: Saturday, March 11 at 8:30 p.m. ET
Where: Ford Center at The Star, Frisco, Texas
TV: CBS Sports Network
Livestream: CBS Live, Paramount Plus

Odds for C-USA Tournament Championship Game from DraftKings Sportsbook:

Point spread: Florida Atlantic -2
Point total: 149.5
Moneyline: FAU -135, UAB +115

Pre-tournament odds to win at DraftKings Sportsbook

Florida Atlantic: +145
UAB: +240