10 March 2014

2014 American Athletic Conference Tournament Predictions

One consequence of conference realignment was that we have a new conference in the American, made up of the schools that were in the Big East before the Big East became basketball-only. But even then, at least for this year, this is a pretty solid basketball conference at the top. Their tournament kicks off this Wednesday night in Memphis, and it should be one to watch.

Here are my 2014 AAC Championship predictions.

First Round - March 12th
#10 South Florida vs. #7 Rutgers - ESPNU, 7:00
Pick: Rutgers

#9 UCF vs. #8 Temple - ESPN2, 9:30
Pick: Temple

Quarterfinals - March 13th
#6 Houston vs. #3 SMU - ESPNU, 1:00
Pick: SMU

#7 Rutgers vs. #2 Louisville - ESPNU, 3:00
Pick: Louisville

#8 Temple vs. #1 Cincinnati - ESPNU, 7:00
Pick: Cincinnati

#5 Memphis vs. #4 UConn
I like both teams, and I think both could do some damage in the NCAA's. Yes, Connecticut swept the regular season series, but I think Memphis's offensive excellence will be the difference. And the home court does not hurt.
Pick: Memphis

Semifinals - March 14th
#3 SMU vs. #2 Louisville - ESPN2, 7:00
The Mustangs under the immortal Larry Brown have been a great story, and they are a very fine club as their defense keeps them in every game. But they have struggled against the Cardinals twice already and will a third time.
Pick: Louisville

#5 Memphis vs. #1 Cincinnati - ESPN2, 9:00
Personally, I'm not that high on Cincinnati. I think they are too one-dimensional offensively and while their defense and their physicality, I think overly relying on one guy offensively is not a great thing. Look for Memphis to pull the upset. 
Pick: Memphis

Championship - March 15th
#5 Memphis vs. #2 Louisville - ESPN, 6:00
Memphis is a good team and with the homecourt advantage, they have a solid path to get to the championship. But with how good Louisville has been playing, I don't anybody in the AAC is touching them.
Pick: Louisville

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