Men's Hoops Set for South Florida to Open AAC Tournament

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FORT WORTH, Texas – The UCF men's basketball team is in the Lone Star State and looking to make a splash at the 2022 Air Force Reserve American Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Championship as the sixth-seeded Knights (17-11, 9-9 AAC) will do battle with archrivals and 11th seed South Florida (8-22, 3-15 AAC) at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT on Thursday, March 10 inside Dickies Arena.
Television coverage will be on ESPNU with John Schriffen and Perry Clark on the call, while FM 96.9 The Game will have radio coverage with Voice of the Knights Marc Daniels calling the action.

Before dropping their last two regular season games at Tulane and Tulsa, the Knights had won four of their last five. UCF was particularly dangerous in Orlando, boasting a 13-3 record, marking the best home record for the program since the 2018-19 season where the Knights finished 15-2 at home.
Junior guard Darin Green Jr. has led the charge for the Knights this season, checking in at first on the team with 13.6 points per game, mostly coming on a team-high 83 threes, where he has knocked down an efficient 39.7 percent of his shots (good for second in the conference).
Green leads the conference and is 22nd in the nation with 3.07 threes per game. On Wednesday, Green was named Third-Team All-Conference by The American. Rookie Knight Darius Johnson also received conference praise as he was named to the All-Freshman squad.
The Bulls, meanwhile, are led by freshman guard Caleb Murphy. The rookie paces the team with 11.2 points and 3.2 assists per game.
UCF split the season series with the Bulls in the regular season, falling on the road by a score of 75-51 on Jan. 15, but winning at home 68-49 on Feb. 3. South Florida holds the all-time series lead at 25-20, but the Knights have won 11 of the last 14 games played against South Florida. The Knights are 12-8 against South Florida in Orlando and have won the last eight contests at home dating back to Feb. 5, 2014.
A victory over the Bulls would mean a third matchup against Memphis as the Tigers are enjoying the first round off after receiving a bye with the third seed. The Knights and Tigers would square off on Friday at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT on ESPNU.
Game Information
Date: Thursday, March 10
Time: 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT
Radio: FM 96.9 The Game

SET FOR THE CONFERENCE TOURNEY                                                 

  • The Knights closed out the regular season at 17-11 overall and 9-9 in The American after dropping their last two games at Tulane and Tulsa.
  • UCF's nine conference wins this season are its most since the 2018-19 season when the Knights went to the NCAA Tournament. In the NCAA Tournament, the Knights won their fist-round matchup against VCU, 73-58, before falling to Duke by one point (77-76) in the second round.
  • The 2021-22 Knights will play South Florida for the first time in the AAC Tournament when they face off against the Bulls at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 10.
  • UCF holds an all-time record of 28-23 at NCAA Division I conference tournaments, participating in The American, Conference USA, the Atlantic Sun, the Sun Belt and the American South.
  • The Knights are 4-7 at The American Championship, which is better than their 3-7 record from their time in Conference USA.
  • The last time UCF won more than one game in a conference tournament was the 2005 Atlantic Sun Championship when the Knights won three games en route to their fourth league title.
  • The Black and Gold are aiming for their sixth trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Knights won four Atlantic Sun Tournaments from 1994 to 2005, going 21-7 overall in the tournaments during that span.
  • Before joining the A-Sun, UCF played and lost one game in the Sun Belt Championship (1992) and one in the American South (1991).
  • UCF has never won an AAC title in the regular season or postseason (joined in 2013-14).

WAR ON I-4                                       

  • Entering Thursday's contest, South Florida holds the all-time series lead at 25-20.
  • The Knights have won 11 of the last 14 games played against South Florida.
  • UCF fell to the Bulls at their place earlier this year on Jan. 15, 75-51 before getting revenge in Orlando to the tune of a 68-49 win.
  • Last season, UCF split the series with the Bulls as the Knights won, 81-65, in Orlando but couldn't get it done on the road, falling 68-61 in Tampa.
  • UCF and South Florida have never met in the American Athletic Conference tournament. The two sides were scheduled to play each other in the first round in 2020 before the tournament was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

HONORED BY THE AMERICAN                                         

  • A pair of Knights received postseason honors from The American on Wednesday as junior guard Darin Green Jr. was named Third-Team All-Conference and freshman Darius Johnson was named to the All-Freshman Team.
  • It marks the fourth time in UCF's nine-year history in The American where the Knights have received multiple conference postseason awards.
  • One of the greatest three-point shooters in UCF history, Green has led the charge for the Knights this season, checking in at first on the team with 13.6 points per game, mostly coming on a team-high 83 threes, where he has knocked down an efficient 39.7 percent of his shots (good for second in the conference).
  • Green leads the conference and is 22nd in the nation with 3.07 threes per game, and he was twice named to the conference honor roll throughout the season, on Nov. 15 and Dec. 13.
  • The third-team nod mark's the first all-conference honor of Green's career.
  • Johnson is the only rookie, and just one of four Knights, to have appeared in all 28 regular season games for UCF this season.
  • The Boyds, Maryland native has started in 11 games for UCF, including the last nine straight, where he is averaging 8.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game over that stretch.
  • A two-time AAC Freshman of the Week, Johnson is second on the team with 78 assists, third with 25 steals and fourth with 21 made threes on the season.
  • Johnson is just the seventh Knight to earn all-freshman honors in the program's Division I history, joining Isaiah Adams, B.J. Taylor, Adonys Henriquez, Keith Clanton, Marcus Jordan, and A.J. Rompza.


  • Johnny Dawkins picked up career win No. 100 in the Knights' win over N.C. A&T on Dec. 11, becoming just the third coach in UCF history to reach the milestone.
  • Dawkins is 111-70 since starting with the Knights in 2016, a win percentage of .610, the second best of any UCF coach (Torchy Clark, .754 from 1969-83).
  • He has the third most wins over any UCF coach, trailing only Clark's 274 and Kirk Speraw's 247 from 1993-2010.
  • Dawkins is the fastest coach to reach 100 wins in program history in the Division I era, needing only 162 games to do so.
  • Dawkins had his squad off to a 4-0 start to begin the 2021-22 season, tying his 2017-18 mark for his best start to a season at UCF.
  • Dawkins has led UCF to its first NIT Final Four (2017), first at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament (2019) and first NCAA Tournament win (2019).
  • Prior to Dawkins' arrival at UCF, the program had won three games against ranked opponents from 1984-2016. Since Dawkins has taken over, the Knights have won five games against ranked opponents.
  • UCF had never won two games against ranked teams in a single season, and the Knights did it in a span of five days, taking down No. 6 Houston and No. 19 Cincinnati late in the 2018-19 season.
  • UCF is now 8-52 all-time against ranked opponents, but 5-18 against ranked teams under Dawkins.

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