The American Athletic Conference announced the 2014-2015 men's basketball schedule today. Contrary to last year, the Cincinnati Bearcats will not play every conference opponent twice: USF and Tulsa being the victims that only show up once on this year's schedule.
In total, the Bearcats find themselves on one of the ESPN networks 11 times during AAC play - including their conference opener against fast rising SMU (ESPN2).
UC's last game of the regular season (against Memphis) is set for network television on CBS while 6 other Bearcat conference games are slated for CBS Sports Network.
The only other AAC game currently projected for network television is SMU at UConn (also on CBS in March).
Of note, it looks like the conference tournament championship game is on Selection Sunday this year. Here's the full release and schedule from the AAC: 2014-2015 Men's Basketball Schedule
Overall, I like the set up. You get all the good/name teams twice (UConn, Memphis, SMU, Temple - I said "name" teams, right?). I don't love that both UConn games are front-loaded, though; the 'Cats and Huskies will be done playing regular season games against each other before February.
Anyway, the fact the 'Cats out-of-conference schedule includes a bevvy of games against teams from last year's NCAA tournament makes me pretty excited for the schedule overall. The Bearcats face-off against VCU, San Diego State, and Xavier at home in the friendly confines of Fifth Third Arena while also traveling to Florida to play either Crieghton or Ole Miss in the Emerald Coast Classic (late November - and please, please, please be Ole Miss).
We'll post predictions later this fall, but what's the early consensus on where the Bearcats finish within the AAC?