Men's Hoops Set to Host ECU in Regular-Season Finale

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ORLANDO – The UCF men's basketball team is set for its final contest of the regular season. The Knights are set to host ECU at 2 p.m. on Sunday inside Addition Financial Arena. Michael Durr, Brandon Suggs, C.J. Kelly and Tyem Freeman will be celebrated as part of Senior Knight.

The Black and Gold have hit a bit of an unlucky stretch, as three of their last five games have been losses by a single possession and four of their last five have been losses by single digits. UCF's contests against Temple and Cincinnati were decided in the final second of the game. The loss at Memphis was decided with under 10 seconds on the clock. The Knights are ranked as the fifth-unluckiest team in college basketball by the KenPom rating system. They've had six losses by a single possession this season and 10 total contests decided by nine points or less.

The Black and Gold will look to stay hot from beyond the arc as they still boast the top three-point percentage in the conference, making 36% of their threes. UCF makes 8.9 three-pointers a game, a mark that is 39th nationally and the best in the Johnny Dawkins era. The Knights have also done a phenomenal job defending the triple all year, holding opponents to a 30.8% clip from downtown, ranking them 32nd in the country.

Taylor Hendricks continues to be a star on both ends of the floor, leading the conference in blocks with 49 and reaching double digits in points in 25 of UCF's 29 games so far. He has scored 15 points or more 18 times and has reached the 20 mark five times. Currently, he is one of two players in the country with 55 or more three pointers, 45 or more blocks and 30 or more dunks.

UCF got the best of ECU the last time out as Kelly posted a career-high 30 points, helping the Knights triumph over the Pirates 64-61 on the road back on Jan. 4. He scored from everywhere in the contest, draining four-of-six chances from beyond the arc, 8-of-10 from the free throw line and overall shot 9-of-13 from the floor. Kelly has a chance to reach 1,000 career points on senior night, needing 12 points to reach the milestone. He has been averaging 12.3 points per contest and has posted 12 or more in each of the last three games.

The Pirates will be playing their third game in five days after hosting Tulane on Mar. 1 and then traveling to New Orleans to face the Green Wave at their place Mar. 3. The two teams split the contests, with ECU winning in Greenville 83-68 while Tulane got the 81-78 win in New Orleans.

Javon Small leads ECU in scoring with a mark of 15.8 points per game. Just behind him are RJ Felton with 13.9 per contest and Brandon Johnson with 12.8. Johnson nearly averages a double-double each time he hits the floor, adding 8.4 rebounds a game to his season resumé.

Only three seeds have been solidified ahead of the American Athletic Conference Championship, with all up for grabs except the first, second and 11th slots, held by Houston, Memphis and Tulsa, respectively. With a win, UCF can claim the No. 7 seed and a matchup with the No. 10 seed in the first round of the league's championship tournament on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. A UCF loss on Sunday would mean that they clinch the No. 9 seed and face the No. 8 seed in the first game of the tournament on Thursday at 12:30 p.m.

Sunday's game will be the final regular season contest that the Knights play as a member of The American before moving into the Big 12 next year.

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