Cincinnati lost to Memphis 34-24 in the final regular season game. The game was played in Memphis, and was the first collegiate start for UC QB Ben Bryant. He threw for over 230 yards and two TD’s but also turned the ball over three times. Controversial penalties stole the storyline, especially an unsportsmanlike conduct foul, that guaranteed a Memphis (**10-1, 15th**) victory.
The Bearcats (**10-2, 24th**) will play the Memphis Tigers once again in the Liberty Bowl (Stadium). This time it will be for the American Athletic Conference championship. The winner will likely play in the Cotton Bowl
TV: ABC Time: 3:30 p.m. Radio: 700 WLW
Cincinnati’s Michael Warren II (3) (Nelson Chenault-USA Today).
**As usual, records are DI games only, and rankings are from Sports-Reference.
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).
Xavier was able to hold on for a major victory at Seton Hall, 70-69 Wednesday. Naji Marshall’s 28 points led the way for XU (14-13, 6-8, 117th). Tyrique Jones was menacing, mainly in the first half. He finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds for a double-double. The Pirates (16-10, 7-7, 65th) were led by Myles Cale’s 21 points. Despite, a 16-point lead with under six minutes to play, Xavier allowed Seton Hall to come back. The Pirates had a good chance at winning but missed buzzer-beating shot. The Musketeers will continue with a tough matchup at home versus Villanova (20-7, 11-3, 22nd) Sunday at 1:30 PM. TV: CBS Radio: 550 WKRC
Naji Marshall’s 28 points led all scorers (The Enquirer).
At long last, Xavier was able to secure a victory, 64-61 OT over Creighton Wednesday night. The overtime victory snaps a six-game losing streak for Xavier (12-13, 4-8, 133rd). The Musketeers were led by Naji Marshall’s 23 points. Tyrique Jones (12) and Zach Hankins (10) also reached double digits. Martin Krampelj led the Blue Jays (12-12, 4-8, 102nd) with 18 points. The season for Xavier has been very disappointing, but is it salvageable? At this point, X is hoping for an overall winning record. That is no guarantee in the Big East conference. The only guaranteed postseason for the Muskies’ is the conference tournament in New York City. Any hopes of playing after that, will depend on how Xavier fares in Madison Square Garden. XU will play Providence (14-11, 4-8, 98th) Saturday at 2 PM in Rhode Island. TV: FOX Radio: 700 WLW
Naji Marshall’s 23 points and clutch play helped X win (The Enquirer)
Cincinnati survived a tremendous effort by SMU Saturday night, winning 73-68 at Fifth Third Arena. Jarron Cumberland scored 24 points and Keith Williams had 13 for the Bearcats (19-3, 7-1, 17th). Jahmal McMurray scored 21 points for the Mustangs (12-9, 4-4, 144th). The Bearcats are tied with Houston atop the AAC standings. Cincinnati is knocking on the door of the mainstream polls, and is expected to be in the top 25 of the AP poll this week. The Cats’ will take on Memphis (13-9, 4-4, 83rd) on the road Thursday night. TV: ESPN/ESPN2 Radio: 700 WLW.
Trevor Moore (5) was excited about the victory (UC Athletics).
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)
Xavier was able to overcome an early 17 point deficit to beat Georgetown 81-75, Wednesday night. The home victory was simply the best game of the season for the Musketeers. They improve to 10-7 (2-2) and 88th in the RealTimeRPI Power Ratings. Meanwhile the Hoyas fell to 11-5 (1-2) and 87th in the RTR PR. The Muskies needed a quality victory and finally got one thanks to Zach Hankins and 23 points and 10 rebounds for XU. Also, Tyrique Jones had a double-double as well. His 19 points and 10 rebounds helped X maintain the lead over GU. The Musketeers will play Butler (10-6, 1-2, 53rd) at home Sunday at noon. TV: CBS Sports Network Radio: 700 WLW
Xavier celebrated an 81-75 victory over Georgetown (Elgazzar)
Basketball is not the most complex game in the world. The goal is to put the ball in the hoop, and not let the opponent do the same. It becomes difficult to win when a team cannot make its free throws, which of course, are uncontested. East Carolina defeated Cincinnati 73-71 in a major upset in AAC play. The loss drops the Bearcats to 12-3, while the Pirates improve to 8-6. The major reason the upset occurred was the poor free throw shooting of UC. The Cats shot less than 50% from the charity stripe (44.4%). Regardless of the questionable officiating in Greenville, NC, no one should expect to win with poor free throw shooting. It doesn’t matter if you are playing North Carolina, East Carolina, South Carolina, North Carolina A&T, or South Carolina State. Ranking over 350 teams, RealTimeRPI Power Ratings had UC at 23 and ECU at 260. Those numbers have now been updated to 43 and 224 respectively.
Nysier Brooks complains on a foul call in the 73-71 loss to ECU (The Athletic)
Cincinnati plays Tulsa (11-4, 84) on the road Thursday night 7PM.
The Cincinnati Bengals are headed to the NFL Playoffs for the second straight year. Yesterday, the Bengals defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 13-10 to clinch a playoff spot. K Josh Brown was able to seal the victory with a 43-yard field goal with 4 seconds remaining. Cincinnati (9-6) will be the sixth seed in the AFC. The Baltimore Ravens have won the AFC North with a victory over the New York Giants, 33-14. While the Bengals will play Baltimore next week for the Regular Season finale, the contest will not mean much for either team. Both teams know they will play in the first round in the Postseason. The Bengals will be on the road, and the Ravens will be home for the NFL Playoff games. Cincinnati could play either New England, Denver, Houston, or Baltimore. Week 17 will decide their opponent.
In recent activity, LF Josh Hamilton has signed a 5 year/$125 M deal with the Los Angeles Angels. Add that to the power threat of 1B Albert Pujols and look out! Hamilton had previous been with the Rangers, where he was a 5-time all-star and 2010 AL MVP award winner. Last year, Hamilton hit 4 home runs in a game vs. the Baltimore Orioles. Prior to playing in Texas, he was a member of the Cincinnati Reds.
Source: Getty Images
The Reds, meanwhile, have dealt away CF Drew Stubbs to Cleveland, and were able to add CF Shin-Soo Choo in return. The deal was part of a messy three-team trade. Stubbs has had strikeout issues, and a low batting average. The Reds will miss Stubbs’ speed, however. Choo has a higher BA than Stubbs, strikes out less frequently, and is an above-average fielder. It appears the Reds have the sweet side of the transaction.