The Cincinnati Bearcats won their eight straight game last night, defeating the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 71-51, also with doing that improving to 4-0 in the new American Athletic Conference. It’s the first time in 10 seasons the Bearcats have started conference play at that mark. Now, the question is are they the favorites in the new conference which includes the likes of Louisville, Connecticut, and Memphis in it?
I believe anyone can win this league including the Bearcats, it won’t be a runaway as every expert expected from the defending national champions Cardinals.
Now, the key for this team to hopefully capturing the regular season title is winning games inside fifth third arena. The Bearcats have won 14 in a row at home, which includes their first two conference wins at fifth third. Right now, the biggest win of the season is a road win at then No. 18 Memphis Tigers last weekend.
During the Conference USA days, where the Bearcats won the regular season title regularly, they took care of business at home. You must protect your home court. Head Coach Mick Cronin put at best “If you say, what’s the key to winning a conference championship in the regular season? Don’t lose at home.”
Last night, it was a packed house inside Fifth Third Arena. A crowd of 10,872 watched a Bearcats team showing their talent ability. I truly hope it’s packed every home game from here on out because this team has something going that could special this season.
The team could potentially be 8-0 heading into their showdown at Louisville against the Cardinals on Jan 30th. There are four winnable games out there before the big tilt, but they must take it one game at a time, if you don’t play your best every night you will lose.
Freshman point guard Troy Caupain dropped 14 points last night and is continuing to get better every single game. Senior Sean Kilpatrick had 16 points, but is still struggling from the arc, his saving grace is the free throw line, where he was 9- 10. Senior Justin Jackson continues his remarkable turnaround season adding 11 points while on foul trouble.
This team has it all to win a conference championship, but they must be consistent every single game and continue to have fun because this team has good chemistry.