What’s red and black, full of air, and about to get eaten by a pack of Wildcats? Why, it’s the Cincinnati Bearcats , of course, who tonight pulled off a comeback win over the Purdue Boilermakers in the Round of 64 in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. It was an ugly 66-65 performance that got the job done, but Cincinnati will now face the shredder of the Kentucky Wildcats, assuming Hampton does not shock the world tonight with a 1-16 upset.
After a see-saw battle for most of the game, the Boilers pulled away late in regulation and appeared to have the game in hand with a seven-point lead and 48.5 seconds remaining. The Bearcats weren’t quite done, though, and went on a 10-3 run capped by Troy Caupain’s layup.
In overtime, Cincy took the lead with 3:17 left and never lost it, though Vince Edwards’ three-point attempt to win for Purdue clanked off the rim. It was a “whew!” moment, for sure.
That’s the good.
The bad is that Cincinnati shot 41% (25-for-61) from the floor and just 57.1% from the free throw line. Guard Farad Cobb was the Bearcats’ leading scorer with 14 points.
Purdue more or less dominated the boards against Cincinnati, garnering 50 total rebounds to just 39 for the Bearcats. Cincinnati’s total included a paltry 11 offensive boards, which is pretty amazing considering all the shots they missed on the night.
The Bearcats did manage to block five shots, including two by center Coreontae DeBerry. They also out-stole the Boilermakers 8-5 and committed only nine turnovers and 16 fouls so there were a few positives.
In the end, though, it basically took a miracle for Cincinnati to prevail over Purdue.
So, can Cincinnati beat Kentucky? That would require an act worthy of sainthood.
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