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American Athletic Conference semifinal and championship games moving to CBS in 2018

Selection Sunday on CBS is going to look a little different next March.

AAC Basketball Tournament - Championship Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The Big Ten moving its conference tournament up a week to play at Madison Square Garden has left CBS in need of a new lead-in to its annual NCAA tournament selection show.

On Tuesday, we found out that the 2018 stand-in will be the American Athletic Conference. The AAC’s tournament semifinals will air on CBS at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 10. The championship game will also air on the network at 3 p.m. on Selection Sunday.

“We are extremely pleased to have our semifinal and championship games on CBS,” American commissioner Mike Aresco said in a release. “This arrangement is another reflection of the growth and attractiveness of our men’s basketball. We thank both ESPN and CBS for working to facilitate this move, and we greatly value the relationship we have with these two college basketball television leaders.”

With the addition of Wichita State and the expected strength of Cincinnati, the AAC figures to begin the 2017-18 season with at least two teams ranked among the nation’s top 25. A year ago, both the Bearcats and SMU earned No. 6 seeds for the Big Dance, but neither made it out of the opening weekend.

ESPN will carry the first two days of the AAC tournament, which will be held at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla. In 2019, the Big Ten will return to its traditional role of being the conference whose championship game airs immediately before the CBS selection show.