32 Conference in 64 Days: American Athletic Conference

The AAC will be a very top heavy conference this season. Houston will be a Top 10-15 team this season and needs to be taken seriously in the national title conversation. After the Cougars it is tough to see where the conference get another bid to the NCAA Tournament. A couple teams will be near the bubble and with a overachieving season can get an at large bid. UConn leaving for the Big East does not help as the Huskies will be good this season.

  1. Houston (4 seed #10 overall)
  2. Memphis (First 4 out)
  3. Cincinnati
  4. SMU
  5. Wichita State
  6. Tulsa
  7. East Carolina
  8. USF
  9. Temple
  10. UCF
  11. Tulane
  1. Houston- a top 10 team in the American? It is very possible this season. Houston is expected to be one of the best teams in the country. They should control the AAC and be one of the best teams in the conference’s history. Not losing of their production from a season ago which was one of the best defensive teams in the country (22nd) The Cougars will be fun to watch and will be fighting for a top 3 seed (projected as top 4 seed)
  2. Memphis- I think Penny Hardaway and the program is ready to forget 2020 (Don’t we all). What a mess of a season. The Tigers got some good news with the Virginia Tech transfer Landers Nolley coming aboard. Even better news is that he can play this season after the NCAA approved his waiver a few weeks ago. Memphis will be firm on the bubble as I have them projected as just on the outside looking in. Those 2 matchups with Houston will be huge for the Tigers.
  3. Cincinnati- Losing Jarron Cumberland is a huge loss for this program. Cumberland is one of the best players the Bearcats have in the last decade. They will lean on their seniors this season to led this young group. If they can get hot except the Bearcats to be in the bubble discussion in March
  4. SMU- Both Isiaha Mike and Feron Hunt declared for the NBA draft. Mike stayed in the draft while Hunt is becoming back to the Mustangs. Mike is the only lose for the team from a season ago. With no new additions, if players can step up and find their roles the Mustangs should improve from their 19-11 (9-9) record and has a outside shot at an at-large bid.  
  5. Wichita State- The Shockers were always in the news for the wrong reasons this offseason with five scholarship players leaving the team for the transfer portal. Which included leading scorer Erik Stevenson, they do have talent returning and a good recruiting class so they stay in the top 5 in the conference, but the regular at large worthy is licking their wounds.  
  6. Tulsa- Tulsa winning a share of the American regular season title was one of the most surprising parts of the 2019-20 regular season. The Golden Hurricanes has a good mix of experience and youth. I do not think they will be able to redo their success in 2020-21 but if they can be one of the best defensive teams in the country again (Big if) they will a successful season.  
  7. East Carolina- This is a program that I think a lot of people around the AAC is no looking. They return their whole roster from 2019-20 and that includes Jayden Gardner who was one of the best players in the conference last season. If the Pirates can get some more help from their role players, this season they could make the jump into the upper half of this conference.
  8. USF- South Florida’s big loss last season was Alexis Yenta to a season ending injury. He is the ex-factor for the Bulls. They will struggle to score on offense if Yenta is not at 100%. USF is one of the hardest team to predict in the AAC with a huge range of possible outcomes. We will be fun to watch the Bulls pull off some upsets once conference play starts.
  9. Temple- Losing 3 of their top 4 scorers from this past season to the draft or transfer portal. The outlook for the Owls is very bleak. It will be an interesting few years to see what new head coach Aaron Mckie to do with this program.
  10. UCF- They called last season a rebuilding season for the Golden Knights. Well they lost a lot of talent again this season with more unknowns with some players in the draft but kept their eligibility. This will be a tough season for fans in Orlando but I except the program to be back in the conference title hunt in a few years.  
  11. Tulane- The Green Wave is building something in New Orleans with head coach Ron Hunter. They lost a lot of talent but are bringing in a lot of talent. With the young roster they will struggle in the AAC but watch out for Tulane in couple years.

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