American Athletic Conference men's basketball championship history

The American Athletic Conference holds an annual men’s basketball tournament with the winner getting an automatic bid to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The conference features 12 teams, including Central Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, SMU, South Florida, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa and Wichita State.

The American Athletic Conference men’s basketball tournament begins March 12 and finishes March 15.

The conference was formed in the wake of the NCAA realignment and restructuring of the Big East Conference. The first conference tournament was played in 2014.

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Read below for a list of previous winners.

2019: CINCINNATI

Jarron Cumberland and Cincinnati won the conference title in 2019 (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Jarron Cumberland and Cincinnati won the conference title in 2019 (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Cincinnati repeated as champions in 2019. The Bearcats topped Houston, 69-57. Jarron Cumberland was named MVP.

2018: CINCINNATI

Cincinnati edged Houston, 56-55 in 2018. Gary Clark was named MVP.

2017: SMU

SMU became the first multi-champion in 2017. The Mustangs defeated Cincinnati, 71-56. Semi Ojeleye was named tournament MVP.

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2016: CONNECTICUT

The third time was the charm for Connecticut in 2016. The Huskies defeated Memphis, 72-58 in the finals. Daniel Hamilton was named MVP.

2015: SMU

SMU came away with the conference title in 2014. The Mustangs knocked off Connecticut in 2015, 62-54. Markus Kennedy was named MVP of the tournament.

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2014: LOUISVILLE

Russ Smith won the AAC's first tournament MVP trophy. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

Russ Smith won the AAC's first tournament MVP trophy. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

Louisville won the inaugural American Athletic Conference men’s basketball tournament in 2014. The Cardinals defeated Connecticut, 71-61. Russ Smith was named MVP.