The first day of the American Athletic Conference Tournament is in the books. The conference has been one of the most competitive conferences in the nation all season. The first day of the tournament was no different. Two lower seeded teams were able to defeat the higher seeded teams. To the conference’s delight, neither one of those teams were the ones with the most fans in attendance.
The host team of Memphis and Wichita State were able to avoid the upset bug and advance to the second round of the tournament. UCONN and SMU were able to extend their seasons with wins over higher seeded teams.
The second day of the tournament will feature the four teams that had first round byes Houston, Cincinnati, Temple and the University of Central Florida. With the top teams competing today the crowds at FedExForum should be filled all day with exciting action on the court.
Recap of Round One Games
Game 1 (9) UCONN 80 (8) South Florida 73
The Huskies have led by great outside shooting. UConn connected on 13 three-pointers to push out to a double-digit lead for most of the game. Christian Vital made 6 of 6 three-pointers and led the Huskies with 25 points. Jalen Adams added 19 points for UCONN. South Florida was led by LaQuincy Rideau.
UCONN held off the late rally by the Bulls to advance to the second round.
Game 2 (5) Memphis 83 (12) Tulane 68
The Memphis Tigers’ Jeremiah Martin scored 21 points in the win over Tulane. Martin scored 43 points in the last meeting against Tulane and they forced other players to beat them. Kyvon Davenport scored 17 pont and Mike Parks Jr. had his best game of the season with 14 points and 13 rebounds. The Green Wave used great shooting to keep them in the game early. Tulane was led by Caleb Daniels with 19 points.
Game 3 (10) SMU 74 (7) Tulsa 65
A whopping 47 first-half points helped lead the SMU Mustangs with a comfortable lead that they would not surrender. The smothering defense held Tulsa to on 36.4 percent shooting. Senior JahMal McMurray led SMU with 27 points including 9 free throws and 4 three-pointers. Tulsa was led by Jeriah Horne off of the bench.
Game 4 Wichita State (5) East Carolina (11)
In the final game of the evening, the Wichita State Shockers rolled past the East Carolina Pirates. The Shockers had four players in double figures scoring led by Markis McDuffie with 14 points and Dexter Dennis added 13 points. The Pirates were outrebounded 44-32. Jayden Gardner had 16 points for the Pirates.
Schedule today’s games seeding in ()
11 am Houston (1) vs UCONN (9)
1 pm UCF (4) vs Memphis (5)
6 pm Cincinnati (2) vs SMU (10)
8 pm Temple (3) vs Wichita State (6)
All Games can be seen on ESNPU