USF, UCF meet in AAC tourney
No. 9 seed South Florida (14-17, 7-11) vs. No. 8 seed Central Florida (16-14, 7-11)
American Athletic Conference Tournament First Round, Dickies Arena, Fort Worth, Texas; Thursday, 12 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: South Florida is set to face off against Central Florida in the opening round of the AAC tournament. The teams split the regular season series at one win apiece. The teams last played on Feb. 1, when Central Florida made only 10 free throws on 16 attempts while the Bulls hit 24 of 30 en route to a 64-48 victory.
STEPPING UP: Collin Smith has put up 12.6 points and 6.3 rebounds to lead the way for the Knights. Dazon Ingram is also a primary contributor, maintaining an average of eight points and 6.6 rebounds per game. The Bulls are led by Laquincy Rideau, who is averaging 12.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists.
FUELING THE OFFENSE: Rideau has had his hand in 50 percent of all South Florida field goals over the last three games. The senior guard has 13 field goals and 20 assists in those games.
SLIPPING AT 74: South Florida is 0-6 when it allows at least 74 points and 14-11 when it holds opponents to less than 74.
FLOOR SPACING: South Florida’s Justin Brown has attempted 164 3-pointers and connected on 33.5 percent of them, and is 13 for 32 over his past five games.
DID YOU KNOW: The South Florida defense has allowed only 62.7 points per game to opponents, which is the 19th-best mark in the country. The Central Florida offense has averaged just 68.9 points through 30 games (ranked 217th among Division I teams).