The American Athletic Conference announced their basketball conference schedules for the 2023-24 season Friday morning.
Men’s basketball schedule:
Penny Hardaway and company will begin the conference portion of their schedule on January 4th at Tulsa, before coming home to face SMU on the 7th and conference newcomer UTSA on the 10th.
Memphis will host fellow conference favorite Florida Atlantic on February 25th in what should be a very entertaining game, as the Tigers try to exact revenge after falling to FAU in the NCAA tournament last season. The Tigers will travel to Boca Raton to end the season against the Owls on March 9th at 11 a.m. CT on CBS.
A couple of other notable conference games include a home-and-home with Tulane with the home matchup on February 11th and the return game on January 21st. The Green Wave swept the Tigers in the regular season last year, so expect Penny Hardaway and his coaching staff to have the team prepared for these two.
Memphis will also renew their longtime rivalry with UAB with two games this season. The Tigers lead the overall series 39 to 11.
One other potentially dangerous matchup for the Tigers will come on February 15th as AAC newcomer North Texas will host Memphis. The Mean Green are coming off a 31-win season and are just two years removed from defeating Purdue in the NCAA tournament. While UNT will enter the season with a new coach, they will still be a solid test for the Tigers.
Prediction: Barring injury, Memphis should cruise through their conference schedule this season.
The new additions to the league could provide some sneaky challenges for the Tigers, but the losses of Houston, Cincinnati, and UCF should allow Memphis and FAU to separate from the rest of the pack. The conference schedule is always more daunting than it appears on paper, but it is hard to envision the Tigers losing more than 3 or 4 games in conference play.
FAU returns most of their Final Four roster from last year, but the Tigers are by far the most talented roster in the American. Penny Hardaway and company should be able to win their first regular season American Conference Championship this year.