Cincinnati football fell to Memphis in the AAC Championship, but still were able to win the Birmingham Bowl 38-6. UC (11-3, 21st) defeated Boston College at Legion Field in Birmingham, AL. QB Desmond Ridder started the game and did not disappoint, obliterating BC (6-7, 70th). He ran for three touchdowns, and 105 yards. Ridder added a touchdown pass for good measure. The game was delayed for 50 minutes due to lightning strikes. At kickoff the Bearcats were favored by seven points. This is second time Cincinnati has won at least 11 games in consecutive season (2008- 2009 seasons).
The Bearcats needed a signature win, and they got it Friday night. Cincinnati (4-1) defeated UCF(3-2)* 27-24 in front of a sold out crowd. The Knights were ranked 18th in the AP poll, 19th in the coaches, and 26th by sports reference while Cincinnati was rated 12th by SR. Desmond Ridder threw two touchdown passes and the Bearcats had three interceptions (1 TD) on defense. Thanks a 4-1 record and a top-ten schedule, Cincinnati is ranked in the AP Top 25.
Getty Images, Michael Warren II
The Cats’ will play at Houston next week (Saturday 10/12). TV: ESPN2 Radio: 700 WLW Time: 3:30 p.m.
Sports 24/7 Top Five:
Ohio State: Blew out Michigan State 34-10, and a 42-point win over Cincy is looking better every week
Alabama: Their best win is versus Duke, but it was 42-3
Wisconsin: The 21 point victory over Michigan was solid
Clemson: Beating A&M by 14, best performance, but won by a single point at UNC
Oklahoma: Playing Texas at the Cotton Bowl will show us how good they actually are, because their strength of schedule has been lacking
Sports 24/7 Under the Radar:
Cincinnati: Beating UCF was huge, have played a very difficult schedule, only loss to Ohio State
SMU: Pulled off a miracle 3OT win over Tulsa to remain undefeated and TCU victory on the road impressive
Memphis: Win over Navy is strong
Boise State: They have the win at Florida State, but that’s as good as it gets
Appalachian St.: The Mountaineers have the UNC victory on the road, but playing in the Sun Belt will not help strength of schedule
Xavier took care of St. John’s Saturday night 81-68. XU (17-14, 9-9, 94th) was able to beat the Red Storm (20-11, 8-10, 55th) the second time this season with help from Paul Scruggs and his 22 points. The Muskies’ played without star guard Naji Marshall, but that didn’t stop Scruggs or Ryan Welage (19) from scoring. Zach Hankins (12) and Tyrique Jones (10) also scored in double-digits, and had seven rebounds each. St. John’s was led by LJ Figueroa (20), Shamorie Ponds (19), and Justin Simon (13) in points. The Red Storm remain on the bubble, but are fading. Xavier, meanwhile, will have to win the conference tournament to get into the NCAA Tournament. X will play Creighton (17-13, 9-9, 70th) in New York City, Thursday at 2:30 p.m. in the Big East Tournament Quarterfinals. TV: FS1 Radio: 700 WLW
Zach Hankins (35) has raised the roof all year, and scored 12 points Saturday (AP/ John Minchillo).
2019 Big East Tournament
2018-19 Final Big East Standings
Note: There is a four-way tie for third, and a three-way tie for eighth. Tiebreaker here is overall record, but for conference tournament other tiebreakers are used.
Cincinnati lost a competitive matchup at UCF, 58-55. The Bearcats (25-5, 14-3, 16th) were led by Tre Scott and his 20 point effort. Scott shot nine of 15 from the field, two of three from long-range, and had nine rebounds. Jarron Cumberland added 10 points for UC, but shot less than 30% from the field (5-18). BJ Taylor had 22 points and six rebounds in his final home game for UCF (23-6, 13-4, 17th). Fellow senior Tacko Fall used his 7’6″ frame to score 10 points, grab six rebounds, and block three shots. UC’s Cane Broome came up short on a three-pointer which would have sent the game to overtime. The Cats’ will host Houston (28-2, 15-2, 4th) on senior day on Sunday at noon. TV: CBS Radio: 700 WLW.
UC’s Keith Williams (2) was held to four points at UCF (AP).
Xavier’s five-game winning streak was snapped at Butler Tuesday, losing 71-66. Butler (16-14, 7-10, 89th) avenged its earlier loss in front of a near-capacity crowd on senior night. The Musketeers (16-14, 8-9, 101st) were led by Tyrique Jones and Paul Scruggs who each had 13 points in a tightly contested matchup. Butler was led by Kamar Baldwin (24) and “crowd favorite” Paul Jorgenson (19) in scoring for the Bulldogs’ last home game. Xavier is now tied for fourth place in the Big East, and currently holds the tiebreaker over St. John’s. XU will host St. John’s (20-10, 8-9, 49th) Saturday for senior day/regular season finale at 5 PM. TV: FOX Radio: 700 WLW
Quentin Goodin (3) had seven points in the contest (Russo/USA Today).
Cincinnati was able to hold of a rally at Connecticut to win 64-60 Sunday. Keith Williams led UC with 12 points, while Justin Jenifer and Cane Broome each added 10 points for UC (23-4, 12-2, 15th). Broome had the game-clinching three-pointer in his hometown of Hartford. UConn (13-14, 4-10, 139th) was led by Christian Vital (14) and Alterique Gilbert (13) in scoring. The Bearcats entered the both mainstream polls this week (AP/Coaches’: No. 23/22). Cincinnati will play at SMU (13-13, 5-9, 144th) Wednesday night at 9 PM. TV: CBSSN Radio: 700 WLW
Cane Broome’s clutch three-pointer clinched the game for UC (AP/Hill).
Xavier avenged an earlier loss to Providence, by winning 75-61 in Rhode Island on Saturday. The Musketeers (13-13, 5-8, 126th) have won back-to-back games after besting Creighton earlier this week. Tyrique Jones had a double-double for Xavier, scoring 19 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Naji Marshall (14), Zach Hankins (13), and Quentin Goodin (13) all were in double digits. Nate Watson had 16 points for the Friars (14-12, 4-9, 111th). Xavier plays Seton Hall (15-9, 6-6, 57th) on the road Wednesday at 7 PM. TV: CBSSN Radio: 700 WLW
Tyrique Jones (0) had 19 points and 12 rebounds Saturday (The Enquirer)
Xavier lost a tough contest Wednesday night to Providence 64-62. The Musketeers (11-9, 3-4, 101st) were led by Paul Scruggs’ 14 points. Tyrique Jones and Zach Hankins each scored 12 points. Unfortunately, the Friars (12-7, 2-4, 83rd) were led by reserve Isaiah Jackson’s 13 points, Alpha Diallo’s 11, and Nate Watson’s 11. A questionable travel call late in the game allowed Providence to essentially run out the clock. Xavier will play nationally ranked Marquette (17-3, 6-1, 11th) on Saturday at the Cintas Center. Tip-off will be at 2 PM. TV: FS1 Radio: 700 WLW
Isaiah Jackson (44) led Providence with 13 points off the bench (AP/ John Minchillo)
Cincinnati defeated Wichita State 66-55, Saturday. The Bearcats (16-3, 5-1, 27th) entered Wichita State (8-9, 1-4, 113th) as favorites, but the Shockers were coming off an impressive win over UCF. Wichita State was energetic and Markis Mcduffie had 22 points for the Shockers. However, Jarron Cumberland scored 18 points, and Justin Jenifer added 17 to help the Bearcats win the game. The turning point of the game was a double technical foul call on Wichita State’s Erik Stevenson and coach Gregg Marshall following a personal foul call on Stevenson. The result would be six straight made free throws for Cincinnati. This turned a five point lead, to an 11-point lead for the Bearcats. The Cats’ will play host to Tulsa (12-7, 2-4, 80th) Thursday at 7 PM. TV: ESPN2 Radio: 700 WLW
Jarron Cumberland (34) had 18 points in the 66-55 victory over Wichita State (Peter Aiken/USA Today Sports)