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Today represents a new start for the UCF men's basketball team.

It has been a rough regular season for the Knights, who head into the American Athletic Conference Tournament 12-17.

"That's the beauty of March. You can throw all the records out the door and you've still got a chance to get into the NCAA Tournament," UCF coach Donnie Jones said.

And so they open the tournament the No. 9 seed, playing against No. 8 East Carolina at 3:30 p.m. East Carolina beat UCF in both meetings during the regular season.

The Knights come in led by the two players that made the conference all-rookie team in B.J. Taylor and Adonys Henriquez.

Taylor averages 12.5 points while Henriquez comes in averaging 10.6 points per game.

"These guys are probably the most mature group of freshmen I've ever seen in my life," senior Kasey Wilson said. "They can do it all."

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And they will need to be mature if UCF has any hopes of making a run in the conference tournament.

"I always used to hear coaches say, 'All these games are practice games until tournament time.' " Jones said. "They've got to realize it's one and done (in the AAC tournament)."

A win against East Carolina will give them a shot at upsetting the No. 1 seed — SMU.

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