The 11th ranked Cincinnati Men’s Basketball have had a week off to remove the disappointing one point loss to the seventh ranked Louisville Cardinals at home last Saturday.
Team must focus on winning the American Athletic Conference title, but will have to deal with Shabazz Napier and UCONN to be one step closer to it.
Cincinnati (24-4, 13-2) are tied atop the league will the Cardinals with three games to left. The Bearcats are 2-2 in their last four games, and will look to earn a big road win tomorrow afternoon in Storrs.
” We’ve got a chance to win a conference championship, and we’ve got to stay focused,” Head Coach Mick Cronin said. “We’ve done a great job playing every game like it’s the only game on our schedule. We’ve got to play Saturday like it’s the national championship game.
The Bearcats did hold Napier to 16 points on 5-19 shooting, in the team’s 63-58 victory on Feb 6.
But, Napier is averaging 20.9 points in seven conference home games, and he’s scored 27 in each of the two meetings at home against Cincinnati. He did it last season in a UCONN 73-66 overtime victory on Feb 21, 2013.
” When Shabazz Napier plays great, they’re great, Cronin said. ” He can beat you by himself. We did a great job on him a few weeks ago, but knowing what a great player he is, he’s going to be looking for redemption.”
Bearcats must rely on their strong defense to not let it happen.
In the first meeting, senior guard Sean Kilpatrick had a career night dropping 26 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists. He is averaging 25.3 points in the last eight games.
Kilpatrick has averaged 21.3 points in the last three meetings against the Huskies. His service will be greatly needed, if the Cats want to walk out of Storrs with a big road victory.
Huskies will have big man DeAndre Daniels in the lineup, he did not play in the first meeting due to an injury.
Except a close one til the end, what else is new? Every Bearcats game is a heart attack waiting to happen.
PREDICTION: UC 65, UCONN 62
TV: ESPN at noon or radio on 700 WLW.