Southern Miss

USM can't win, but it can certainly lose against Marshall

The Southern Miss basketball team takes on Marshall at 6 p.m. today in a rematch of USM's complete destruction of the Thundering Herd on Jan. 23.

The Golden Eagles jumped out (or catapulted) to a 47-7 lead over Marshall with 5:36 left in the first half and cruised to a 102-46 victory in Hattiesburg.

It was a laugher ... a total shellacking ... a butt whippin' ... call it what you want.

While USM is a six-point favorite on the road tonight, Marshall is always tough to beat at home. You can also bet that the Thundering Herd hasn't forgotten the embarrassment of that January night.

But you have to wonder if Marshall (12-17) hasn't already called it a season after a 103-76 loss at Houston on Saturday.

USM simply can't afford to lose again this regular season if it is keep its outside shot at an NCAA at-large bid entering the Conference USA Tournament.

USM has to hope that its RPI ranking of 34th will stay put after tonight's game, but there's a good chance it will take a small hit even if it wins tonight. Marshall's RPI ranking is a miserable 214 thanks to a C-USA schedule gone horribly wrong.

Tonight's game will be televised by CBS Sports Network.

ESPN's Joe Lunardi put out another NCAA bracket projection today and USM remains in the "Last Four Out" along with three other SEC teams - Ole Miss, Kentucky and Alabama.

If USM wins tonight, its postseason picture won't change. It it loses, chances at an NCAA Tournament at-large bid will disappear.