Well, that sucked.
The UCF Knights’ run in the AAC Tournament lasted all of one afternoon, thanks to a 79-55 loss to the Memphis Tigers in the second round. UCF had the bye to the quarters, but it didn’t matter, because Memphis.
Get us outta here.
UCF is now 6-23 all-time against the Tigers and 4-18 all-time in FedEx Forum, with only one of those wins coming against Memphis itself (the other three were in the conference tournament against other teams).
And now, we wait.
So now UCF has very little to do until Selection Sunday. In the meantime, their conference mates have other things to contend with:
- Temple got knocked out by Wichita State, so they are in danger of seeing their bubble burst. Wichita gets 2-seed Cincinnati next, whom they lost to both times they played this year.
- Memphis moves on to face the 1-seed, Houston. The Cougars won their only matchup, but that was in the conference opener at Houston, and this matchup will be in a rowdy FedEx Forum.
Actually, this is fine. No, really.
As of Saturday morning, UCF is still listed in all 124 brackets on Bracket Matrix with an average seed of 8.35 (they’re the top 8-seed). Nobody has them lower than a 10-seed, and their highest seed is a 7. They’re getting in. But the worst-case scenario may actually be better for UCF if they want to reach the second weekend:
Fine, I’ll repeat what I said on our latest @UCF_Banneret Podcast:#UCF loses and they drop to a 10-seed for the NCAA, and thus they avoid playing a 1-seed in the second round.— Jeff Sharon (@Jeff_Sharon) March 15, 2019
I’ll take those odds. https://t.co/SQh35Gpr4H
Not only could the committee actually help UCF by dropping them down to a 10, but the Knights get an extra two days off to rest before heading off to wherever they will go. So the best-case scenario is still in play:
- Rest up an extra two days. Even better if you get a Friday first-round game.
- Play a 7-seed, who would likely be a middle-of-the-pack P5 team like Iowa State or Louisville.
- Likely play a 2-seed in the second round.
Why is this a better situation?
Here are the odds to advance to the Sweet 16 for each of UCF’s possible seeds, based on all previous games since the Tournament expanded to 64 teams, according to BetFirm:
- 8-seed: 9.6%
- 9-seed: 5.1%
- 10-seed: 16.9%
Mind you, UCF has never won a single game in the NCAA Tournament. They’ll have a better chance to do that than ever next week. And depending on where they get seeded on Sunday, they could have a shot at making the second weekend.
And if they do, no one is going to care about what happened on Friday.