PROVIDENCE, R.I. – With its win at No. 11 Wichita State on Sunday afternoon, No. 10 Cincinnati secured the No. 1 seed for the 2018 Aaron’s American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship, to be held March 8-11 at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla. The Bearcats earned the outright conference regular-season title ahead with the victory, which will see all 12 teams will compete for the championship title and the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
No. 1 Cincinnati (27-4, 16-2 American) took its first outright American regular-season title and is the No. 1 seed for the second time in five years. In the five years of the conference, Cincinnati has never been seeded second or higher on three occasions. The No. 10-ranked Bearcats will begin the championship on Friday at 12 p.m. ET versus the winner of No. 8 UConn and No. 9 SMU.
No. 2 Wichita State (24-6, 14-4 American) earns the No. 2 seed in its first year as members of The American. Ranked No. 11 in the country, the Shockers are one of five programs to have won at least one NCAA Tournament game in each of the last five years. Wichita State will open tournament play at 7 p.m. ET on Friday versus the winner of No. 7 Temple and No. 10 Tulane.
No. 3 Houston (24-6, 14-4 American) earns the third seed for the second straight year, already posting its best wins total under head coach Kelvin Sampson. Led by seniors Rob Gray and Devin Davis, the Cougars will open the championship in Friday night’s late game, meeting the winner of No. 6 UCF and No. 11 ECU at approximately 9 p.m. ET.
No. 4 Tulsa (19-11, 12-6 American) wrapped up the No. 4 seed earlier in the week with a victory at ECU. The Golden Hurricane earned a bye to the quarterfinals for the third time in four years under head coach Frank Haith. Tulsa will play in Friday’s second game, taking on the winner of No. 5 Memphis and No. 12 USF.
No. 5 Memphis (19-12, 10-8 American) earned the fifth spot at the conference championship for the second straight season under head coach Tubby Smith. Finishing the last three weeks of the regular season 5-1, the Tigers open tournament play on Friday at 2 p.m. ET vs. No. 12 USF.
No. 6 UCF (18-12, 9-9 American) survived an injury-ravaged season to finish .500 in conference play to secure the No. 6 seed. The Knights, led by the duo of A.J. Davis and B.J. Taylor, will meet ECU in the teams’ 1st Round game on Thursday evening at 9 p.m. ET.
No. 7 Temple (16-14, 8-10 American) claimed the seventh seed after dropping its last two games of the regular season. The Owls, who boast a top 10 strength of schedule this season, will meet Tulane in the teams’ 1st Round game on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. ET.
No. 8 UConn (14-17, 7-11 American) won The American Championship title the last time it was held in Orlando, running from the No. 5 seed to the championship. The Huskies will play in the first game of the championship, meeting No. 9 SMU in the first round on Thursday at 12 p.m. ET.
No. 9 SMU (16-15, 6-12 American), the defending American Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament champion, was torpedoed by injuries after racing out to a 15-7 overall record. The Mustangs will meet No. 8 UConn for just the second time this season when the teams meet in the championship’s first game on Thursday afternoon.
No. 10 Tulane (14-16, 5-13 American) improved its wins total by XX in head coach Mike Dunleavy Sr.’s first year, one of the 15-best improvements in the nation. The Green Wave will take on seventh-seeded Temple on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET.
No. 11 ECU (10-19, 4-14 American) opens tournament play on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET as the 11th seed. Last year, the Pirates collected the program’s first win in the conference championship. ECU will face off with ECU in first round action.
No. 12 USF (10-21, 3-13 American) has already posted its best wins total since 2014-15 in head coach Brian Gregory’s first season. Opening tournament play as the No. 12 seed, the Bulls will meet No. 5 Memphis at 2 p.m. ET on Thursday. The teams split the season series.
Ticket packages made available to the general public on Dec. 15 include lower-level and premium seats and cover all 11 games of the championship. Tickets are available online at [www.AmwayCenter.com]www.AmwayCenter.com, in person at the Amway Center box office, or by calling 407-440-7900. Tickets also are available from The American’s member institutions through each institution’s athletics ticket offices.
Fans may visit [www.TheAmerican.org/MBB]www.TheAmerican.org/MBB for the latest information on the 2018 championship.
The Amway Center hosted the 2016 American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship, which culminated in UConn capturing the tournament crown.
2018 AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP • AMWAY CENTER • ORLANDO, FLA.
Thursday, March 8 - First Round (all times Eastern)
No. 9 SMU vs. No. 8 UConn, Noon (ESPNU)
No. 12 USF vs. No. 5 Memphis, 2 p.m. (ESPNU)
No. 10 Tulane vs. No. 7 Temple, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
No. 11 ECU vs. No. 6 UCF, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
Friday, March 9 - Quarterfinals
8/9 winner vs. No. 1 Cincinnati, Noon (ESPN2)
5/12 winner vs. No. 4 Tulsa, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
7/10 winner vs. No. 2 Wichita State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
6/11 winner vs. No. 3 Houston, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
Saturday, March 11 - Semifinals
Quarterfinal winners, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Quarterfinal winners, 3:30 p.m. (CBS)
Sunday, March 12 - Final
Semifinal winners, 3:30 p.m. (CBS)