No. 11 seed East Carolina (8-10, 2-10) vs. No. 6 seed Central Florida (10-11, 8-10)
American Athletic Conference Tournament First Round, Dickies Arena, Fort Worth, Texas; Thursday, 7 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: East Carolina and Central Florida are set to do battle in the opening round of the AAC tourney. In the regular season, Central Florida won both of the head-to-head matchups. The teams last went at it on March 4, when the Knights shot 43.1 percent from the field while holding East Carolina to just 34.5 percent en route to a 64-60 victory.
BIG MEN ON CAMPUS: Jayden Gardner is averaging 18.3 points and 8.3 rebounds to lead the charge for the Pirates. Brandon Suggs is also a key contributor, accounting for 8.8 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. The Knights have been led by Darius Perry, who is averaging 12.5 points.
FUELING THE OFFENSE: Gardner has had his hand in 43 percent of all East Carolina field goals over the last three games. Gardner has 18 field goals and five assists in those games.
WINLESS WHEN: East Carolina is 0-6 when scoring fewer than 60 points and 8-4 when scoring at least 60.
PERFECT WHEN: East Carolina is a perfect 5-0 when it scores at least 73 points. The Pirates are 3-10 when scoring any fewer than 73.
LAST FIVE: East Carolina has scored 65.2 points and allowed 71.2 points over its last five games. Central Florida has averaged 74 points while giving up 68.8 over its last five.
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