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Temple to face East Carolina in the opening AAC men's basketball tourney game

Temple's first-round opponent for the American Athletic Conference men's basketball  tournament will be East Carolina.

The two teams will open the AAC tourney Thursday, March 9 with a 3:30 p.m. game at Hartford's XL Center. ESPNU will televise the game.

Temple (15-15, 6-11 American) currently holds the No. 8 position while East Carolina (13-16, 5-11) is on the No. 9 position.

Whether Temple ends No. 8 or No. 9 and vice versa for East Carolina doesn't matter because no other AAC team can finish in those spots.

Temple conludes its season Sunday, March 5 at South Florida, a team that is 1-15 in AAC play, with the only win coming over East Carolina.

ECU hosts UConn on Wednesday and visits Houston next Sunday.

Temple and ECU have split during the regular season. The Owls won, 81-62 on Jan. 7 at the Liacouras Center. The Pirates beat Temple, 78-54 on Feb. 15 at home.

The winner of that opening AAC game will play the top seeded team on Friday March 10 at noon. SMU is currently the top seed, with a one-game lead over Cincinnati. Both teams have two games remaining.