The women’s basketball season is just about to finish up the regular season, and the field is almost entirely decided for the conference tournament this year. All that’s left to play for the few teams that have games remaining on their schedules is seeding, and adding one more win to their NCAA resume for March.
You can’t talk about the American Athletic Conference Tournament, or even just the conference itself, without addressing the elephant in the room. It will be near impossible for anyone to compete against UConn. They will most likely finish out the regular season undefeated, will take the first seed in the conference tournament (their third-straight conference title) and will probably win the automatic berth for the American. They lead the country in points-per-game (88.6) and scoring defense (48.3), and won’t be letting up going into postseason play.
What’s so surprising is that, even though they are undefeated in both conference play and overall, it still took them until the final week of the regular season to clinch first seed and the conference title. That’s because USF, with only three losses in conference play so far, was keeping pace with them throughout most of conference play.
The Bulls will probably take the second seed in the conference, with one game left to play on Monday against UConn who will be playing to finish the season undefeated still. The Bulls have had four-straight twenty win seasons, and though they will probably not win the conference tournament, are still projected to make the NCAA tournament. [Game on Saturday]
Temple will take the third seed, but will need a strong showing in the tournament– at least a trip to the finals against UConn–to make the tournament, because as they sit now they are one of the first four out with two games left on the regular season schedule.
For the rest of the conference, the conference tournament is the only chance that they will have to make the NCAA tournament. Tulane and Memphis will play for the fourth seed, and they are the final two teams with winning records in the American. SMU and Tulsa are fighting for the sixth seed, but the Mustangs hold the edge with one more game remaining against East Carolina, while TU finished the regular season at Cincinnati on Saturday.
East Carolina, Cincinnati and UCF will all jostle for the next three seeds, while Houston has already clinched the 11th seed and will play either Tulsa or SMU.
It’s going to be an uphill battle for the Golden Hurricane as they finish either sixth or seventh in the conference. They will have to win four-straight games again the gauntlet of the conference to push their season into the NCAA tournament. Their first game, regardless of seed, will be on Friday in Connecticut.