IRVING, Texas – (The American Conference) For the first time in program history, USF has earned the top billing in a conference tournament and is the No. 1 seed in the 2021 Air Force Reserve American Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Championship bracket. The Bulls and nine other members of The American will square off in this season’s women’s basketball championship on March 8-11 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth.
The team that wins the 2021 American Women’s Basketball Championship will receive the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship. Teams in the American Women’s Basketball Championship are seeded based on winning percentage from regular-season conference games, with the top six seeds in the 2021 edition of the tournament receiving first-round byes.
No. 1 USF (16-2, 14-1 American) won the first regular-season conference championship in program history with a 65-62 thrilling victory against rival UCF on March 2. The Bulls are slated to play the winner of Wichita State and Tulsa on Tuesday, March 9 at 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT in the quarterfinal round of the tournament on ESPN+.
No. 2 UCF (13-4, 11-3 American) claimed the two seed for the third straight season after winning eight of its final 10 games in conference play prior to the season finale with USF on March 4. The Knights begin The American tournament against the winner of Memphis and Cincinnati on Tuesday, March 9 at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT in the third quarterfinal game on ESPN+.
No. 3 Houston (15-6, 12-5 American) notched the third seed in the tournament for the first time as a member of The American, marking the highest conference regular-season finish for the Cougars since a 16-0 showing in Conference USA in 2010-11. Houston will face off with East Carolina on Tuesday, March 9 at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT in the final quarterfinal game on ESPN+.
No. 4 Tulane (16-7, 12-6 American) enjoyed its best finish in the regular-season standings as an American member and its top overall conference showing since a fourth-place result in its final season in C-USA in 2013-14. The Green Wave is scheduled to take on Temple on Tuesday, March 9 at Noon ET/11 a.m. CT to begin quarterfinal play on ESPN+.
No. 5 Temple (11-10, 11-7 American) checked in fifth in the regular-season standings after winning five of its final eight games to close the season. The Owls are set to face Tulane on Tuesday, March 9 at Noon ET/11 a.m. CT in the opening quarterfinal game on ESPN+.
No. 6 East Carolina (8-13, 6-10 American) secured the sixth seed in this season’s championship, its highest finish since the 2014-15 campaign. The Pirates will collide with Houston on Tuesday, March 9 at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT in the fourth and final quarterfinal game on ESPN+.
No. 7 Cincinnati (7-15, 5-11 American) locked in the seventh seed with wins in its final three games to close the regular season. The Bearcats, the 2020 tournament runner-up, kick off the 2021 American Championship against Memphis on Monday, March 8 at 5:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. CT on ESPN+ in the final game of the first round.
No. 8 Tulsa (5-13, 4-13 American) enter the tournament as the eighth seed and will be one of four teams competing in the first round. The Golden Hurricane are set to face off with Wichita State on Monday, March 8 at 2:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. CT on ESPN+ in the tournament’s opening game.
No. 9 Wichita State (5-11, 2-9 American) will be the tournament’s ninth seed thanks to an overtime victory against Tulsa on March 2. The Shockers and Golden Hurricane are set for a rematch in the first game of the week on Monday, March 8 at 2:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. CT on ESPN+.
No. 10 Memphis (4-14, 2-12 American) round out the field as the 10th seed and will collide with Cincinnati on Monday, March 8 at 5:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. CT on ESPN+. The Tigers previously defeated the Bearcats by a 61-52 score on Jan. 20 in Cincinnati.
All of the latest tournament information can be found at Championship Central throughout the week by visiting TheAmerican.org/wbb.
2021 Air Force Reserve American Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Championship
March 8-11, 2021
Fort Worth, Texas
First Round – Monday, March 8
No. 9 Wichita State vs. No. 8 Tulsa – 2:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. CT (ESPN+)
No. 10 Memphis vs. No. 7 Cincinnati – 5:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. CT (ESPN+)
Quarterfinals – Tuesday, March 9
No. 5 Temple vs. No. 4 Tulane – Noon ET/ 11 a.m. CT (ESPN+)
8/9 winner vs. No. 1 USF – 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT (ESPN+)
7/10 winner vs. No. 2 UCF – 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT (ESPN+)
No. 6 East Carolina vs. No. 3 Houston – 10 p.m. ET/ 9 p.m. CT (ESPN+)
Semifinals – Wednesday, March 10
Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner – 5:30 p.m. ET/ 4:30 p.m. CT (ESPN+)
Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner – 8:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. CT (ESPN+)
Final – Thursday, March 11
Semifinal winners – 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT (ESPNU)