HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Larry Eustachy grabbed a white plastic chair and joined Tom Herrion behind a table.
Eustachy's charcoal and black outfit clashed with the green on the tablecloth, backdrop and the diagonal stripes of Herrion's tie, but the two college basketball coaches complemented and complimented each other during the Saturday postgame press conference.
"Come on in, come on in," Herrion said in the media room following Marshall's 79-75 win over Eustachy's Golden Eagles at the Henderson Center. "Get a seat."
The following back and forth between the coaches of Southern Miss and Marshall ensued:
Eustachy: "How long are you going to talk for? We going to get this done or what?"
Herrion: "Where are you going? You aren't going anywhere."
Eustachy: "We've got a lot of stuff going on here."
Herrion: "Are we going to dinner?"
Eustachy: "I just fired my free throw coach."
Herrion: "We don't have a free throw coach anymore, either. I don't even worry about it anymore."
Eustachy: "You had some tough losses."
Herrion: "Too many."
The last two words from Herrion, Marshall's second-year coach, might be true, but the Herd received a much-needed lift with Saturday's win over USM, a top 20 team in the RPI.
Marshall (18-12, 9-7) leaves today for Memphis, Tenn., the site of this week's Conference USA men's basketball tournament. The four-day event officially begins Wednesday at 1 p.m., and the Herd will be the second of four first-round games that day.
MU is the sixth seed after finishing the regular season fifth - along with UAB - in the C-USA standings. A coin-toss tiebreaker eventually pushed the Blazers to No. 5 and the Herd to No. 6.
Marshall will play at 3:30 p.m. (EST) Wednesday against No. 11 seed Southern Methodist (13-18, 4-12). The Mustangs lost to the Herd (73-68 on Feb. 18) two weeks ago and finished with the worst overall record of any Conference USA team this season.
Memphis won the league's regular season championship by two games and is the top seed. Southern Miss held on to the No. 2 seed despite Saturday's loss, and a tiebreaker gave Tulsa the third seed and Coach Donnie Jones' UCF Knights the fourth.
The top four seeds receive a first-round bye and do not play until Thursday, while the league's other eight teams comprise the four Wednesday games.
Marshall had losing streaks of at least two games five separate times this season, the last of which came in the twilight of the regular season: a 20-point home loss to eventual league champ Memphis and a disheartening road to ECU, the tourney's No. 10 seed, last Wednesday.