Sports

UCF Basketball Teams Aim for First AAC Trophies

Women to play for championship Monday vs. UConn; men clinch a top-4 seed and first-round bye in tournament.

By Jenna Marina Lee |
March 10, 2019

basketball on court

Photo by Ben Soloman/The American

The UCF men’s and women’s basketball teams are in the middle of two of the best seasons in program history and show no signs of slowing down as they set their sights on competing for the American Athletic Conference Championship’s top prize.

The women spent the weekend in Uncasville, Connecticut, making a successful run through their tournament while the men are gearing up for their conference tournament in Memphis, Tennessee, later this week.

women's basketball players cheer on team bench

The UCF women’s basketball team will face UConn in the American Athletic Conference Championship final. (Photo by Ben Soloman/The American)

Monday’s Championship Matchup

Thanks to Sunday’s historical win against Cincinnati in The American Championship semifinal, the UCF women’s basketball team advanced to compete in the league final for first time since the conference’s inception in 2013. The Knights will take on national powerhouse UConn at Mohegan Sun Arena at 7 p.m. Monday on ESPN2.

The Knights’ 66-58 win over the Bearcats marked the team’s 26th win of the season and in effect set a new school record for the most wins in a season.

“We’re going to stick together, we’re going to play hard, we’re going to stay focused. This is our time.” — UCF head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson

“I’m so proud of these young women. It’s kind of fitting the Nike (warm-up) shirts say UCF family. When we went in the locker room I just said, ‘Families back each other up. You guys are my daughters. You guys are your sisters. We’re going to stick together, we’re going to play hard, we’re going to stay focused. This is our time. We are going to try to get in this championship game.’ And everybody really stepped up,” head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson says.

A win against UConn would deliver the team’s first conference trophy since the 2010-11 season and automatically punch the Knights’ ticket to the NCAA Tournament. While UCF has also put together a strong resume for the program’s first at-large bid to the Big Dance, the Knights will have to wait a week to find out the details of their postseason fate.

The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship bracket will be revealed at 7 p.m. ET on Monday, March 18, on ESPN.

basketball player wearing white uniform dribbles ball across half court with UCF logo on floor

The men’s team will play either Memphis or Tulane in Friday’s conference championship quarterfinal matchup. (Photo by Nick Leyva ’15)

Men’s AAC Championship Outlook

The men’s basketball team (23-7, 13-5 American) will head into the postseason with its most regular season victories in its Division I history (since 1984). The Knights’ 13-5 record in American Athletic Conference play is its best performance in league play since joining The American.

Thanks to back-to-back wins over nationally ranked opponents (No. 6 Houston; No. 19 Cincinnati), the Knights earned a bye in the first round of the conference tournament. As the No. 4 seed in the bracket, UCF will appear in the quarterfinals at FedEx Forum on Friday, March 12, at 2 p.m. on ESPN2 against the winner of Thursday’s first-round matchup between No. 5 Memphis and No. 12 Tulane.

The championship final will be held Sunday, March 17, at 3:15 p.m. ET on ESPN. Later that night, the NCAA Tournament selection show will stream live from 6 to 7 p.m. ET on March Madness Live and broadcast nationally on CBS.

2019 AAC Tournament Bracket