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Jeff Eisenberg

Breakfast Buffet: Memphis ascends to top of Conference USA

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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1. Memphis took over sole possession of first place in Conference USA with a 62-58 home win over Alabama Birmingham on Wednesday night. How tenuous is the Tigers' grip on the conference race? UTEP, Southern Miss and surprising SMU highlight a group of five teams within a game of first place.

2. Pac-10 fans hoping the conference will one day jump to ESPN will not want to read this next item. The San Jose Mercury News reports that Fox Sports remains a heavy favorite to land the Pac-10's TV rights deal this year, meaning we can expect spotty TV coverage of the league's basketball schedule to continue.

3. Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel examined the longtime friendship between Southern Miss coach Larry Eustachy and UTEP coach Tim Floyd on Wednesday. Later that night, Eustachy's Golden Eagles went out and got him some bragging rights over his buddy, beating UTEP 64-51 to tighten the race in Conference USA even further.

4. The story of deaf Cal State Northridge player Michael Lizarraga is one many college basketball fans may already have been familiar with, but's Dana O'Neil tells it from a fresh angle. She explains how Lizarraga has inspired a deaf 14-year-old boy who hopes to one day follow in the Cal State Northridge forward's footsteps.

5. Utah managed to defeat Wyoming at home on Wednesday night, but it may take more than that to save coach Jim Boylen's job. A Deseret News columnist explains why diminishing success, attendance woes and an inability to compete with BYU may force the Utes to make a change prior to joining the Pac-12 next season.

A matchup of Horizon League also-rans delivered a buzzer-beating finish on Wednesday night. After Dipanjot Singh gave Illinois-Chicago a two-point lead with six seconds left, Loyola's Courtney Stanley got free behind the arc and sank the game winner to give his team a 67-66 victory.

"(It's like) Batman with his armor and Superman with his cape. If you take away who they are, they're just Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne." -- Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin on his team limiting 3-point happy Louisville to five makes from behind the arc in Wednesday night's Bearcats victory. (Associated Press)

Richmond at Temple, 7 p.m. ET

Minnesota at Penn State, 7 p.m. ET

East Tennessee State at Belmont, 8 p.m. ET

Washington State at Arizona, 8:30 p.m. ET

UCLA at Stanford, 10:30 p.m. ET

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