Another week of basketball is behind us, which brings an updated AP Poll. Cincinnati had a perfect week, going 2-0. Both wins were hard-fought, but enough for the Bearcats to move up to 20 in the polls.
— Cincinnati Men’s Hoops (@GoBearcatsMBB) March 4, 2019
Cincinnati also found themselves ranked 19 in the coaches poll this week. That is 3 spots up from last week, when the Bearcats were ranked 22nd.
Cincinnati has reached 20+ wins in men’s and women’s basketball, and had 10+ wins in football this school year. That’s the first time in school history for the programs to reach those marks in the same years. A phenomenal year for Bearcat sports, which will continue to get better.
SCHOOL. HISTORY. MADE.
— Cincinnati Bearcats (@GoBEARCATS) March 4, 2019
AAC in the AP
UCF finds themselves ranked at 25 after the upset in Houston. The Knights knocked off 8th ranked Houston 69-64 on the road, and have lost once (vs Cincy) since February 7th. This is UCFs first ranking all year, and comes just 3 days prior to Cincinnati’s trip to Orlando on Thursday.
Houston slid from eight to twelve after the UCF stumble. With the Cougars coming to town Sunday, the Bearcats play back-to-back top 25 opponents. Cincinnati needs to win at least one of the two games, but has the capability to win both, and would win the AAC if they do so.
A Look Ahead
With the upcoming tough final stretch, the Bearcats control their own destiny to win the American regular-season championship, and get the one seed in the conference tournament. Here is how Cincinnati can win the AAC regular season title:
- Cincinnati wins out
- Houston loses both games
- Tie-breaker: Both Cincy and Houston go 1-1, but Cincy beats Houston
I do not know what the tie-breaker is, however. The Bearcats and Cougars would be 1-1, so possibly it would come down to how much either team won by.
Less than 20 days away, conference tournaments are one of the few opportunities to change up the seedings. Cincinnati can boost their resumé with 2 top 25 wins this week, however.
Here are projected seedings for the Bearcats from a few experts:
- ESPN (Joe Lunardi): 7 seed vs 10 Ole Miss
- CBS (Jerry Palm): 6 seed vs 11 Alabama
- SB Nation (Chris Dobbertean): 6 seed vs 11 Belmont
Cincinnati can definitely jump up, especially if they don’t lose another game (including in the AAC tournament). The Bearcats could likely get a 3/4 if they win the AAC tournament. The honest prediction from me is a 5 seed. I believe the Bearcats will win out in the regular season, but finish as the runner up in AAC tournament play, losing to Houston. All of this is subject to change, however, and hopefully the Bearcats can win the AAC tournament.
We have reached the final stretch. Little mistakes can be made, as every win is important. This is the hardest stretch of the year for Cincinnati, playing two top 25 teams and then heading to the post season. The focus is winning at all costs, and Coach Cronin will have them prepared to do that as UC finishes off their 2018-19 season.