Exactly a week after losing to Houston on Senior Night at Devlin Fieldhouse, the Tulane men’s basketball team will get another crack at the Cougars on Thursday in the first round of the American Athletic Conference tournament.
The bracket was set Sunday evening, and the venue, the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut, might be more favorable to the Green Wave than New Orleans. Tulane is 5-4 on the road in AAC games, including a win at Houston, while the Wave finished 1-8 at home.
Tulane (15-15, 6-12 AAC), which won at South Florida on Saturday, is the No. 7 seed. Houston (12-8, 4-14), the No. 10 seed, clobbered East Carolina 72-54 on Sunday.
The game will start at about 5 p.m., following the tournament opener between No. 8 seed East Carolina and No. 9 seed UCF.
The winner of Tulane-Houston will face No. 2 seed Tulsa (21-9, 14-4) in a quarterfinal at 6 p.m. Friday.
Before beating South Florida, Tulane was heading in an opposite direction from Houston, having lost 11 of its previous 12 games. The Cougars, in their first year under former Oklahoma and Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson, have won three in a row after starting 1-14 in league play.
SMU (24-6, 15-3) clinched the league’s regular season title and No. 1 seed in the tournament by beating Tulsa on Sunday. The other teams to watch are No. 3 seed Cincinnati (22-9, 13-5), which has won five in a row, No. 4 seed Temple (22-9, 13-5), which has won 10 of its last 12, and No. 6 Connecticut (17-13, 10-8).
The defending national champion Huskies will need to win four games in four days to get back to the NCAA tournament. They face No. 11 seed South Florida (9-22, 3-15) in the opening round at the XL Center, where they went 6-1 this year.