The first season of play for the American Athletic Conference was a productive one on the basketball court, with UConn winning the national title and three players (Sean Kilpatrick, Shabazz Napier and Russ Smith) earning All-America honors. The question now is what will Mike Aresco’s league do for an encore, with two schools leaving (Louisville and Rutgers) the conference and three (East Carolina, Tulane and Tulsa) arriving.
Wednesday afternoon the American’s basketball programs learned what their path to the conference title will be, with the American releasing its conference schedule pairings. Each team will play eight of its league foes twice, meeting the two leftover conference opponents once (one at home, one on the road).
“We are very pleased with the schedule format we have put together for the 2014-15 season,” Aresco said in the release. “We took into consideration rivalries, marquee match-ups and geographical and travel considerations.”
In this era of conference play unbalanced schedules have become commonplace, with the schedule potentially having a major impact on which team wins the regular season title. The American made sure with this year’s schedule release that UConn, Cincinnati, Memphis and SMU all play each other two times apiece, which is a good move with those programs expected to be the main contenders for the title.
And if those programs take care of business that should help their resumes from a strength of schedule standpoint, with the conference looking to ensure a solid number of bids (and quality seeds) in the NCAA tournament. Also of note is the fact that the conference tournament title game will move to Sunday (March 15), with this being announced when it was revealed that Hartford would host the 2015 event.
Below are the single meetings for each team on the 2014-15 conference schedule.
UCF: Tulsa (home), UConn (away)
Cincinnati: USF (home), Tulsa (away)
UConn: UCF (home), Houston (away)
East Carolina: Tulane (home), SMU (away)
Houston: UConn (home), Temple (away)
Memphis: Temple (home), USF (away)
USF: Memphis (home), Cincinnati (away)
SMU: East Carolina (home), Tulane (away)
Temple: Houston (home), Memphis (away)
Tulane: SMU (home), East Carolina (away)
Tulsa: Cincinnati (home), UCF (away)