There are two games left to play and two teams are tied for the conference lead. One team is one game back hoping for a little bit of help. Yes, it’s going to be a wild final week in the American Athletic Conference.
The Louisville Cardinals and the Cincinnati Bearcats sit atop the AAC with identical 13-3 records, having split the regular season series between them. The SMU Mustangs sit one game back of both and play the Cardinals on Wednesday. The Mustangs just happen to be undefeated at home this season.
Cincinnati takes on the Memphis Tigers Thursday night in Cincinnati, the same Memphis team that just swept the season series with Louisville. A Mustang win on Wednesday combined with a Tiger win on Thursday means we would have a three-way tie for first place in the AAC with one game to play. Like I said, it’s going to be a crazy week.
SMU finishes the regular season on the road at Memphis, Louisville is at home against the Connecticut Huskies. Cincinnati has the easier road as they end the season at Rutgers. The Tigers and the Huskies have not yet been mathematically eliminated, but they would need Cincinnati to lose to Rutgers which is not going to happen.
The AAC did a fantastic job of scheduling, as the last few weeks of the regular season have felt like a round robin tournament for the conference championship. What other league has its top five teams two games apart, all playing each other in the last three weeks of the season, including three times in the last week?
After the inaugural season in the AAC that will see five teams from the league in the NCAA tournament, it’s fitting the final week of the season will be the most exciting of any conference in the country.