Those who have grown used to AAC Basketball in recent years are in for a rude awakening in 2023-24. The conference is almost unrecognizable from a year ago, mostly due to additions to replace teams poached by the Big 12.
Houston, Cincinnati, and UCF are all off to the Big 12 this season, removing last year’s AAC champion from the picture, as well as perennial March contenders in the Bearcats; the Knights have had their moments, though the Big 12’s interest in UCF probably has more to do with recent football success.
There are a lot of reinforcements coming to the AAC, though. The league’s remainders are joined by UAB, Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice and UTSA. The timing couldn’t be any better for the league’s competitive balance, as Florida Atlantic is coming off a surprise Final Four run and North Texas just won the NIT, defeating UAB in the process (Charlotte won the CBI, for good measure).
How do the teams of the AAC line up – including six additions – entering the 2023-24 college basketball season?
Since nearly half the league will be made up of new teams next season, it will be fascinating to see how they adjust to the conference. Considering the national hype surrounding the FAU Owls, who return most of their core from last year’s postseason run, Dusty May’s team may actually be the favorite.
Then again, Kelvin Sampson’s Cougars have had a stranglehold on the AAC recently. Maybe it’s time for a team like the Memphis Tigers to fill the void and snatch the crown.
It should be a fascinating season for a conference in transition. Here are the preseason power rankings for the AAC in 2023-24, bottom to top.