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AAC Basketball News and Notes | Tulane Suspends Season Due to COVID

Once again, AAC basketball fell victim to a bad week. Seemingly every top team dropped at least one game, and plenty of teams have three or more losses before we’ve even hit conference play. With that being said, four teams still have just two losses and, with the way the season has gone to this point, have a shot at getting some love in the AP polls. It was another week that gave more questions than answers, and this will certainly continue to be a great conference to keep an eye on moving forward.

With the holiday season approaching, so does conference play for AAC basketball. Conference play kicks off Wednesday, with UCF taking on Temple, and the games will start to mean just a little more. Here’s how the past week fared for the AAC.

AAC Basketball Weekly Headlines

While there weren’t many positive things that happened in the past week, there was still a fair share that we learned about the teams in the conference. For starters, the Memphis Tigers have now lost four straight to unranked opponents. The first three games dropped the Tigers out of the Top 25 and the fourth will likely keep them out for a while. Houston lost a heartbreaker in controversial fashion to Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

This week sees plenty of noteworthy matchups in the AAC this week. Not only does conference play start, but plenty of teams face tough tests against ranked teams.

Tulane Basketball covid aac college basketball
Credit: Sophia Germer/The New Orleans Advocate

Tulane Suspends Season Due to COVID

In their statement, Tulane University did not release how many members of the team tested positive. With the outbreak being bad enough to cancel future games a few days out, there’s no doubt it’s widespread. Not only does Tulane miss two games, but they may miss even more. Just three days after Tulane was set to play Grambling State, they play New Orleans at home. After that, they have over a week off before they open conference play, with Memphis at home.

With so much time between the two games to end the 2021 calendar year, it wouldn’t be surprising if the New Orleans game was canceled too. Also, that timeframe is assuming that other members of the team or staff don’t catch the virus from fellow teammates or coaches. In that instance, their possible return date could be pushed back even further.

Emoni Bates, Memphis Basketball Loses Fourth Straight

Everybody has their fair share of bad games. For Emoni Bates, however, this is starting to become a concerning trend. Bates was the third overall high school prospect in ESPN’s Top 100 for the Class of 2021. Since the third game of the season, against St. Louis University, Bates has looked more like a three or four-star recruit. Over the past six games, Bates has scored in double figures just twice. Over that span, he is averaging under nine points a game. For a player that was regarded as a “dangerous contested shot maker” coming out of high school, he seems to have a tough time making open shots as well.

While Bates did struggle with foul trouble in this game, that wasn’t the reason he shot poorly. Bates was just 3-7 from the field and 1-4 from downtown. Over the last six games, Bates has shot 30.5% from the field and 16.6% from deep. For a player that was supposed to be a transcendent talent and one of the leaders on this team, he’s arguably been a liability. He needs to figure his game out fast, as Memphis’ tournament hopes are already starting to fade away.

Updated AAC Basketball Standings

TeamConference RecordOverall Record
Wichita State6-915-12
East Carolina6-1115-14
South Florida3-158-22

Upcoming AAC Basketball Games to Note

With plenty of intriguing matchups this week, there is plenty of must-watch college basketball in the AAC. Although there is only one conference game, there is still plenty on the line for multiple teams this week.

#6 Alabama at Memphis

Date: Tuesday, Dec. 14
Time: 9:00 pm EST
TV Coverage: ESPN

UCF at Temple

Date: Wednesday, Dec. 15
Time: 7:00 pm EST
TV Coverage: ESPN2

#18 Tennessee at Memphis

Date: Saturday, Dec. 18
Time: 12:00 pm EST
TV Coverage: ESPN2

Oklahoma State at #14 Houston

Date: Saturday, Dec. 18
Time: 7:00 pm EST
TV Coverage: ESPNU

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