The first day at the Conference USA tournament kicked off Wednesday in Tulsa, Okla., with three tight games, two of which came down to the final seconds.
Jordan Swing hit a lay-up with about nine seconds left to lift the No. 7 UAB Blazers past the No. 10 SMU Mustangs in the tournament opener Wednesday afternoon, 53-52. Swing led all scorers with 17 points against SMU, and he also added a team-high nine boards. The Mustangs were down, 32-23, at halftime, but worked their way back in the game, finally taking the lead at 52-51 with 29 seconds left.
UAB will advance to play the No. 2 Southern Miss Golden Eagles in Thursday's quarterfinals. See the tournament's bracket here.
The No. 6 Houston Cougars moved on to the tournament quarterfinals with a 72-67 win over the No. 11 Rice Owls, the tournament's bottom seed. Rice, which finished its season 5-26, was down, 36-25, at halftime but came back to take a second-half lead at 54-51 with about 10 minutes to play. But Houston held Rice scoreless over the game's final 2 1/2 minutes to move on.
The Cougars will play the No. 3 UTEP Miners Thursday afternoon in the quarterfinals.
Ricky Tarrant made a 26-footer with about seven seconds left to give the No. 8 Tulane Green Wave a 66-64 win over the No. 9 Marshall Thundering Herd in the day's final game. Tarrant finished with 21 points. Marshall took a 63-61 lead with 1:19 to go, but Kendall Timmons tied it with just over a minute to go for Tulane. Tulane got a stop on a missed jumper to set up the game-winning bomb.
Tulane moves on to play the No. 1 Memphis Tigers Thursday at 7 p.m. ET.