Rutgers Exceeds Preseason Expectations

Regardless of the results against ranked foes Connecticut and Cincinnati this week, Rutgers checks in as the No. 7 seed in the AAC final standings. With the conference tournament a week away at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Rutgers will be three slots higher than the preseason polls slotted the team.

No one at the RAC believed it anyway, but assistant coach David Cox made a grantee that Rutgers would not finish last in the American standings. The pre-season No. 10 ranked Scarlet Knights are now locked into the seven-seed in the AAC tournament after the results of two games last night.

"I don't want to overstate this at all but we were picked 10th in the league," Cox said to before the start of the season. "Without making any bold or rash predictions, but I would like to assure you that we aren't a 10th place team. We have enough talent and enough depth, and we have an outstanding coach with a vision and a plan for this team."

Rutgers (11-18, 5-11) finishes as the No. 7 seed regardless of its results in games this week against No. 19 Connecticut and No. 16 Cincinnati.

Falling short of its goal of a first-round bye, Rutgers will see South Florida, UCF or Temple in the first round March 12. The on-court product was inconsistent in Piscataway, but coach Eddie Jordan exceeded national expectations by avoiding a last-place finish in the conference. Rutgers split the regular-season matchups with UCF and Temple by winning at home and losing on the road. South Florida was the lone team in the American with two losses to Rutgers.

The Scarlet Knights posted the preseason rankings in their locker room for daily motivation, and will look for a strong finish to the regular season starting tonight against Connecticut.

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