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AAC has top 25 bragging rights

By Gavin Keefe

Publication: theday.com

Published February 10. 2014 10:00PM   Updated February 10. 2014 10:11PM

Can you name the two conferences with the most teams in this week's Associated Press top 25 men's basketball poll?

If you guessed the ACC and Big 12, you're wrong.

The American Athletic Conference is crashing the party in its inaugural season, placing five teams of its 10 teams in the top 25. The Big Ten also has five teams ranked.

Cincinnati(10th), Louisville (13th), Memphis (20th), SMU (23rd) and UConn (24th) represent The American. SMU (19-5) is making its first top 25 appearance since March 12, 1985.

AAC commissioner Mike Aresco and conference coaches took advantage of the news to do some bragging about their conference.

""It's great that our conference is being recognized throughout the country for the terrific season it's having," UConn coach Kevin Ollie said. "We've known since the conference games began that there are no easy games in The American, especially on the road. I'm glad people realize how many good teams we have in the league."

AAC commissioner Mike Aresco: "Having five top-25 teams from a 10-team league is certainly great news for the American Athletic Conference. I congratulate our teams on their accomplishments thus far.

"This is further evidence of how far we have come as a conference in less than a year and I applaud our coaches and players for the level of competition our conference has enjoyed all season."

Memphis coach Josh Pastner: "I'm excited for the league having five teams ranked, but it's not a surprise to me. Since the preseason, I've said numerous times that The American is one of the top two to three leagues, top-to-bottom, in the country, and this week's poll shows the quality of depth the league has."

By the way, the ACC has four teams ranked and Big 12 three. The Big East has just two.

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