The Bearcats fell to the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Round of 64 in the NCAA Tournament, 79-72. Friday, UC (28-7, 17-4, 13th) played Iowa (22-12, 11-11, 49th) in Columbus in front of many UC fans. Unfortunately, that and Justin Jenifer’s 19 points on 7-12 shooting was not enough. The Bearcats also had 17 points from Jarron Cumberland who was 7-17 from the field. Iowa’s Luka Garza scored 20 points, going 8-11 from the field. UC finishes their 2018-19 season as AAC Tournament champions, 2nd place AAC regular season, and NCAA Tournament Round of 64 participants. Cincinnati will return next year playing in the US Virgin Island Paradise Jam tournament featuring eight teams, including Nevada. The Cats’ will also play in the Chicago Legends in December against, you guessed it, Iowa.
Tre Scott (13) walks off the court after the defeat (Busting Brackets).
It’s officially March now. That means conference tournaments are about to begin, and the NCAA Tournament is only a few weeks away. Here’s how the local teams fare:
Photo Credit: upi.com
Record: 22-7 (9-7 in Big East)
Analysis: The Bearcats were slightly on the bubble. But then a victory at #11 Georgetown last week made it almost certain that they will be participating in their first NCAA tournament since 2004. A loss to #15 Connecticut does not change this. With two games left, at Marquette and vs. #17 Georgetown, the Cats’ should win at least one of those. The Big East tournament will then be an important setting for UC to improve their stock. Although their NCAA bid probably won’t ride on it, a higher seed could result from a solid performance. As of now, Cincy is projected as a #7 seed.
Great Wins: Xavier, at St. John’s, Louisville, at Georgetown
Horrible Losses: None
#23 Xavier Musketeers
Photo Credit: Deseret News
Record: 22-6 (13-1 in Atlantic 10)
Analysis: The Muskies are enjoying a soft A-10 schedule, and are taking care of business. An absolute lock in the tournament, Xavier just needs to keep playing very well, as they have been doing. A win at Dayton on Sunday, helps maintain their momentum. They do, however, have a baffling loss at Charlotte, whose RPI is 218. Nonetheless, Xavier should roll through the A-10 tournament, or at least make it to the finals. They also are projected to be a #7 seed in the NCAA Tournament.