AAC Basketball Conference Play Preview and Predictions: Central Florida Knights

By Daniel Karpuc
Isaiah Sykes
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Despite holding an 8-3 record going into American Athletic Conference play, the University of Central Florida Knights haven’t impressed me. Their only quality win has come against in-state foe Miami where they won by five points. Their three losses have come against Florida State, who is a legitimate team, but also against Valparaiso and Florida Atlantic. I hate to say it, but there is no Valparaiso or Florida Atlantic in the AAC. They lost on Tuesday night to Louisville to fall to 8-4 on the season.

Calvin Newell, Isaiah Sykes, and Tristan Spurlock are leading the team, all scoring over 13.8 points per game. The team averages just over 80 points per game, although based on the strength of their opponents that number could have been higher.

Here are my predictions for UCF.

They will have wins against Temple, at Rutgers, South Florida, and Rutgers.

Following their loss to Louisville at home on Tuesday they will suffer losses at Connecticut, against SMU, at Cincinnati, Memphis, at Louisville, Connecticut, at Memphis, at USF, Cincinnati, Houston, at SMU, Houston and at Central Florida.

Due to the nature of their two bad losses, I can’t trust this team enough to select them to upset an upper echelon team of Louisville, Connecticut, or Memphis. Although, you never know what may happen on a given day. If Newell is on, he can be a force to be reckoned with and his athleticism can be matched by very few others in the AAC.

Overall, UCF will go 4-14 in conference play during the inaugural season of the AAC and finish the regular season at a 12-17 clip which is slightly better than I had them finishing in my preview of the team prior to the season.

Dan Karpuc is an American Athletic Conference basketball writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @dan_karpuc, “Like” him on Facebook, and add him to your network on Google.

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