The AAC tournament is underway with three games on tab for today. This is going to be an exciting tournament too, with several teams on the “bubble”, vying to get into the NCAA tournament. The first game is already at halftime, with the 8th seeded East Carolina Pirates currently beating the 9th seeded Central Florida Knights. The Pirates are looking to beat the Knights 3 times this season and probably wish they played them all season. The winner will face the top seeded SMU Mustangs. The next game has the 7th seeded Tulane Green Wave pitted against the 10th seeded Houston Cougars, with the winner facing the 2nd seeded Tulsa Golden Hurricanes. Funny thing about both teams is that they are both then their record indicates, more the Cougars who have not only won three straight, but have been fairly competitive in most of their losses. The night caper features the the defending NCAA champions, the Connecticut Huskies against the 11th seeded South Florida Bulls. The Huskies have struggled mightily this year without their star guard Shabazz Napier. Ryan Boatright has tried to takeover, but it hasn’t been easy. The Bulls would like to forget about this season, only winning 2 of their last 16 games, which included an 11 game losing streak. The winner plays the 3rd seeded Cincinnati Bearcats, who has won five straight games heading in the tournament.
As for a prediction, I got to go with the SMU Mustangs. This is a tough one because I really like the Temple Owls too. Their domination of the Kansas Jayhawks still lingers in my mind, as I was not expecting that. The Owls have one of the best defenses in the nation, but so do the SMU Mustangs. I believe the Mustangs will have a chip on their shoulder from last season’s collapse that led to their snubbing of participating in the NCAA tournament. Offensively I love the way they pass the ball, with Nic Moore running the point as good as any other. With that said, Larry Brown will have his boys ready to exact revenge and not include the committee in their fate. So, I’ve got the Mustangs winning the AAC tournament.