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2019 American Athletic Conference Basketball Tournament: Everything You Need to Know

The Knights have a bye as the 4-seed and open play Friday.

UCF Men’s Basketball Derek Warden

When and where?

The 2019 AAC Men’s Basketball Tournament will be held at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, home of the Tigers. First-round action starts Thursday and the Championship will be on Selection Sunday.

You can follow all of the action on The American’s Tournament Central page.

Is it on TV?

Yup. Here’s your TV schedule and bracket:

2019 American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Bracket

Who’s the favorite?

According to TeamRankings.com, the Houston Cougars are the favorite with about a 40% chance to win, followed by the Cincinnati Bearcats at about 25%, and UCF Knights at 14%.

If you’re looking for more traditional odds (Courtesy of Caesar’s Palace via CBS):

  • Houston: 7/5
  • Cincinnati: 5/2
  • UCF: 4-1
  • Memphis: 6-1
  • Temple: 10-1
  • Wichita State: 25-1
  • South Florida: 50-1
  • SMU: 50-1
  • Tulsa: 60-1
  • UConn: 60-1
  • East Carolina: 200-1
  • Tulane: 300-1

Who needs to win?

Houston, Cincy and UCF are locks for the NCAAs. It gets interesting between the Temple Owls and Memphis Tigers.

Temple is the 3-seed, but they might need some help to be assured of an NCAA bid. They play the winner of Wichita State and ECU on Friday. They would face Cincy in the semis if things hold serve.

Memphis is hosting the tournament, where they are very tough to play, and play winless Tulane to start. Should they win, they’d get UCF, who they already wiped out at home this year. Get through that, and they would get a crack at top-seeded Houston, again, at home.

Should Memphis get hot on the home court and make the Championship game, and should Temple falter, the Tigers very well could knock the Owls out of the NCAA Tournament and steal a bid.

Never mind all that. Where’s UCF?

The UCF Knights are the 4-seed. They play the winner of (5) Memphis vs. (12) Tulane. It will likely be Memphis, because Tulane was 4-26 on the year and 0-18 in the league, and Memphis is at home where they’ve lost only twice all year.

UCF lost their game at Memphis earlier this season. It was ugly.

What does UCF need to do?

Not really much of anything. The Knights’ regular season wins at Houston and against CIncinnati pretty much wrapped up an NCAA Tournament bid, even if they go one-and-done. The only question now is seeding.

Right now, BracketMatrix.com predicts UCF would be a high 8-seed when the bracket comes out on Sunday.

What happens if UCF goes one-and-done?

They’ll probably drop in seeding down to a 10 on Sunday, which might not be all that bad, since the winner of the 7-10 game gets to avoid a 1-seed in the first round.

What games do I need to watch?

  • UCF will learn their opponent - the winner of Memphis/Tulane - Thursday at 3 p.m. on ESPNU.
  • The Knights open their tournament Friday at 2 p.m. on ESPN2.
  • Should UCF win on Friday, they would play Saturday at 3 p.m. on ESPN2.
  • The Championship Game is Sunday at 3:15 p.m. on ESPN.

Got a history nugget for us?

You know I do.

Last time UCF won a conference tournament was 2005, when the Knights blitzed through the A-Sun Tournament for the second straight year, beating Gardner-Webb in the final for the auto-bid.

UCF’s opponent in the first round of the NCAAs that year? Their current conference mates, the UConn Huskies:

For a full breakdown, listen to this week’s Black & Gold Banneret Podcast.