The women get their shot at No. 1 seeded Middle Tennessee State right now. The men get it at 7:30 this evening.
Middle's women worked hard to get past No. 9 seeded Louisiana-Monroe, 59-56, so they couldn't coast and rest regulars. Look at the rebounding in this game. If Marita Davydova, Diamond Ashmore and Finda Mansare have big days on the boards, I think FIU wins. That'll mean fewer second shot gimmes for Middle, fewer fouls on FIU and more putback attempts for FIU. Junior guard Jerica Coley's going to get hers. Others on FIU need to bring some and if it comes from inside that'll neutralize Middle's area of advantage.
For the men, they can't let Middle three-point shooter Raymond Cintron go completely off. Also, if both teams are on their games, it could be a game of runs. The simple edict FIU should remember: keep playing, don't get crazy looking for the knockout, just keep punching, no matter the score. Middle's got more raw talent, but when FIU plays it's pressure defensive system well, the Panthers keep you from getting in a rhythm.