Football Pergatory

Cautious Optimism


    -The Beercat

After posting a second half prediction of the football Bearcats my hopes and dreams were shot down by the Temple Owls in OT on Saturday. I thought we would bring home a W from Philly. That didn’t happen. Instead, our Bearcats panicked the last couple of minutes of the game. The first 3 minutes of the game is highly forgettable too. (A lost fumble on 3rd down and a botched return added onto a Temple touchdown where the receiver landed out of bounds. If you add in the ref icing our freshmen kicker you have a hell of Saturday afternoon) All of this while Temple was without its RB1 Ryquell Armstead.

Can you blame me for thinking the Bearcats could go 11-1 after starting off 6-0? Yeah beating USF is a stretch but if we would have been undefeated heading into that game in Nippert. What a stage that would have been. A perfect one for College Gameday to finally highlight in Clifton. If we win Saturday in Dallas and Nov 3 against Navy, two games that will be an absolute dog fight the next two games will be highly anticipated by Bearcats fans.

Here’s what I’m currently thinking. 8 weeks ago not many people had the Bearcats at 6-0 going into the bye week. Still not a lot of people had them 6-1 at this point. Moving forward though we’re caught in football fan purgatory. What does that mean? I feel like our fanbase doesn’t know how to feel right now. We’re caught in between preseason expectations and the redrawn expectations after going 6-0. Winning when you feel like you shouldn’t be is certainly much sweeter than expecting it. So you get addicted to that sweetness and expect more of it. That’s what happened before last Saturday’s game.

Sure some fans might have kept “realistic” expectations for this team and still have them. That’s fine, but the feeling you get when your team is winning against the odds makes it harder to keep those realistic expectations you started off with before week 1. It’s not wrong to reset expectations. That’s what I did before week 7. I expected the Cincinnati Football Bearcats to win every game in the second half of the season, except one. (UCF if you couldn’t guess)

If before the season started you told me the Bearcats would be 6-6 and bowl eligible I would have said,

“Hey! We’re getting there! A bowl game will be fun, what’s that even like anyway?”

But now after winning the first 6, losing the last 6 would almost be devastating. No one wants to end a season with 6 straight losses, especially if one is to ECU. Yeah we’re still bowl eligible but we’d have absolutely no momentum going into it.

So what do we do now? We proceed with cautious optimism. Maybe some of you were already doing that? Maybe after the bye week I was living dangerously. Let’s ride this thing out a couple of more games to see where we land this season. We hit #20 in the country, that was fun but maybe a bit too much too soon.

Beat SMU this week and get us back into Historic Nippert on Nov 3rd.

I hope to see all of you at The Den’s watch party at Taft’s Brewpourium on Saturday at 3:30pm! I’ll be the guy drinking delicious beer dressed in red and black!

The End of the Regular Season

The Bearcats Last Chance to Impress


Sunday the Cincinnati Bearcats take on #11 Wichita State for the second time in about two weeks. The Shockers did just that at BB&T Arena beating the then #5 Bearcats on their home floor and ending a 39 game home winning streak. It was the Bearcats second loss of the week and fourth overall for the season.

At that time Joe Lunardi had the Bearcats as a 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Selection Committee had just announced their top 16 teams and they too had the Bearcats at a 2 seed. After the set of losses the Bearcats have since beaten UConn, Tulsa, and Tulane.

It is the opinion of this blog that even though the AAC tournament isn’t until next weekend, Championship Sunday and Selection Sunday sharing the spotlite, it is this Sunday in Wichita that the Bearcats make their final push and plea with the committee to get back to that 2 seed.

Most of the latest bracketology being thrown around has the Bearcats at a 3, maybe even playing as close as Nashville. Which would be a huge turnaround from some place like Spoakane, WA. I wouldn’t mind that at all really. Being the top 3 seed could have advantages. BUT if the goal is to get the best seed possible then a win on Sunday is a must.

For the Bearcats to have a shot at a 2 beating Wichita State on the road would certainly help. Add a win or two in the AAC tournament and I think we have a good shot at it. The point of this is

The committee will probably already have its mind made up by tip off of the AAC Championship game next week. 

Winning all the way up to that point would get the job done.

There’s evidence to support this. Last year when Cincinnati lost to SMU in the AAC championship the outcome was null in the eyes of the committee. Both teams were seeded the same. The committee didn’t care who won. They based their decision on everything leading up to that point. I’d guess they would do the same this year. We’ll see.

Thoughts, let me know with a comment or tweet.

Go Bearcats!

Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Hurricane, Singular.


The #11 Cincinniat Bearcats (24-4, 13-2) take on Tulsa Golden Hurricane (17-10, 10-5) today at noon on CBSSN. It is the Bearcats final home game of the season and therefore Senior Night (Afternoon). Before the game UC will honor two seniors Gary Clark and Kyle Washington.

I  can’t say anthing about these two guys that haven’t already been said. Efforts shouldn’t be wasted. The only thing I’ll say is Gary Clark has been my favorite player since his first game in the uniform. It’ll be very different next season no seeing him in red and black.

Back to Tulsa. This is the first anly only meeting between the two teams this season. So they won’t be too familiar with each other. I’d kind of consider this a trap game in that it could be looked over with a trip to Wichita just a week away. Yes there’s a trip to Tulane too, but this test against Tulsa should be a legitament one. Tulsa’s worst two losses of the season were to Lamar and Illinois State in early Novemeber. Recently they’ve been on a tear winning their last 6 games. As it stands now, they’re the 4th best team in the conference. It’s very likely we’ll see them again in the conference tournament.

Despite having some decent wins, Kansas State, Temple, and SMU they’re not really in the conversation for the Tournament. I haven’t even seen them listed in the last 4 out. A win over the Bearcats would certainly help their cause so the Bearcats better be ready.

The Golden Hurricane (it just sounds dumb saying it) has three players averaging double figures Etou, Taplin, and Jeffries. They average 15.4, 12, and 10.4, respectively. The Bearcats have to know where these three guys are at all times on defense. Etou also averages almost 8 rebounds per game and  is a 6’8″ senior so it should be fun to watch him and Clark battle it out in the post.

UConn Sucks. Gary Clark is coming off an impressibe performance against UConn scoring a game high 17 points. The Bearcats dominated in almost every stat line. Cane Broome looked strong again. There’s no sign of him getting the starting gig though. I guess it doesn’t matter as long as he performs like he has the past couple of games.

Cronin.

AAC Tourny.

Prediction. Bearcats 75 Golden Hurricane 59

Breaking Down the 2018 Football Schedule

Fickell Year 2


Earlier this week the complete 2018 football scheduled was released by the American. In a turbulent week in basketball it was looked at and tabled for later discussion because the basketball bearcats were on a tear. After Sunday though I need to take my mind elsewhere. I’m not discarding the Basketball Bearcats yet I just need a timeout and recoup before we thrash UConn on Thursday. I thought it a fitting time to look ahead to football season in a very early schedule breakdown and prediction for the season.

Luke Fickell and company are in year 2 in Clifton and are out to prove they can run a successful program. Last year we saw the Bearcats finish 4-8 and miss bowl season for the second year in a row. The coaching staff has a couple new faces, some that may be familiar like former player Mike Mickens.

The highlight of last year was easily beating Miami (OH) for the 12 straight year in one of the more dramatic finishes in college football last year. Unfortunately, beating Oxford is a highlight now.

I traveled to Ann Arbor last season to watch the Bearcats take on Michigan, I figured we’d finish at least bowl eligible after watching that game. (Shows what I know)

The schedule this year features all but one Saturday game which is awesome and the traditional post Thanksgiving home game that always promises to never be that exciting, unless we’re playing for bowl eligibility.

At UCLA 9/1 – UCLA is under newly signed head coach Chip Kelly. They finished last year at 6-7, This will be his first game as a Bruin and first coached game in a couple of seasons since being booted out of the NFL. Still UC will have to play up in this game, much like the Michigan game last year. The Cats will keep it close but I can’t call it a W. They’ll drop this one in Sunny Loss Angeles. (See what I did there). 0-1

At PBS v Miami (OH) 9/8 – The Redhawks finished 5-7 last year and I’d bet the farm the Bearcats beat the Redhawks for the Victory Bell again. They had their chance to win it last year and blew it. The bell will ring out in Red and Black again. Win. 1-1

Alabama A&M 9/15 – 4-7 last year. Usually the warm up game for the season. Win. 2-1

Ohio U 9/22 – I don’t know much about the Bobcats except they finished last year at 9-4 and lost one to Kansas. That hurts. Win 3-1

At UConn 9/29 – 3-9 last season. We squeaked one out last year winning 22-21. Bearcats win again. 4-1

Tulane 10/6 – 5-7 last season and another team we beat in a thriller. This one ended with Tulane missing a chip shot field goal as time expired. Win 5-1

At Temple 10/20 – They finished last season at 7-6. This one will be a close one in my opinion. I don’t think we upset Temple in Philly this year. Loss. 5-2

At SMU 10/27 – Finished 7-6 in 2017. If we don’t beat Temple we have to win in Dallas. Another toss up like the Temple game. Win. 6-2

Navy 11/3 Finished 7-6 last year too. The triple option destroyed us last year, like Navy put up all time rushing yards against us. Even if we’re 50% better against them I think they still win. Loss. 6-3

USF 11/10 – Finished 10-2. I don’t think we’re there yet. Loss. 6-4

At UCF 11/17 Finished 13-0, beat Auburn and are the self declared National Champions. They did lose their head coach to Nebraska, a move I don’t understand. The money is more important than climate I guess. Who wants to spend their awesome years in college in Nebraska? Any way I look for UCF to fall off somewhat this year but not that much. Loss. 6-5

ECU 11/23 by this time the sky will be falling in Cincinnati because the Bearcats could be on 4 game losing streak. The Pirates finished 3-9 but dominated us last year in a 48-20 stomping. Bearcats bounce back this year though. Win. 7-5.

So that total puts us at 7-5 which would be a vast improvement for Coach Fickell and his football Bearcats and put us back in the bowl season in what seems like forever.

 

Barrels and Bearcats

Bearcats Slay Knights Road Trip Looms


Knights. What we witnessed last night was a slaughter. I’m not even sure we’re allowed to put the footage on the internet. The Bearcats were all over UCF from start to finish. The Knights made one shot very early then went what felt like a decade without scoring again. Everyone got involved in this one. Literally, everyone scored except the three walk-ons.

Nsoseme, Williams, Scott, and company all saw major action and held their own in the route. Cronin has been talking for several weeks about getting Nsoseme more minutes because he’s been practicing well. Glad he was the first one off the bench in this one. He finished with 3 points and 4 rebounds.

Trevor Moore lead all scorers with 14 points. Washington had 13, Gary 12, and Jenifer has found his tough again and chipped in 11.

The Bearcats defense looked far improved from the effort against UConn over the weekend. The Knights shot 19% in the first half and a mere 28% for the game. The most impressive thing was the Knights went the entire game without making one 3 pointer. Just as UCF thought they had an open look from 3 Gary Clark closed out blocked it and …

It was a rough night to be a Knight.

We can’t forget the beer of the game.

The Gauntlet Part 2. The Bearcats went 2-2 in the first Gauntlet losing to X and Florida and beating UCLA and Miss St. We are now at the beginning of the second one of the season. The next four games are at SMU, at Houston, #22 Wichita State at home and UConn at home. One big difference between the two stretches are now, it’s late in the season and we’re #6 in the country. Teams are hungry for a resume booster and we’re it. In college sports if we have to lose I’d prefer to lose early. People tend to forget and beatings fade with time. Play defense, hit the open shots, and keep winning.

Next up is SMU. The Evil Empire. The Bane of the Bearcats Existence. The ‘Cats slayer. Too much? You get the idea. It’s that time of year where SMU pops up on our schedule for the second time, at Moody. For the past couple of seasons the Ponies have had our number when they play host. Moody isn’t an easy place to win if you’re a visitor and no one knows that better than Coach Cronin. This will be the third time in five years where we play at SMU at this exact same point in the season. We’ve been ranked #11 or higher in each of those two games. All I know is Sunday at 4pm on ESPN the Bearcats better be ready to bring it.

Top 5. Both #5 Xavier and #4 Michigan State squeaked by and won last night. The Spartans next game is Saturday against #3 Purdue. The Boilermakers have to make it past #14 OSU first. (Go OSU? That’s weird to say.) If the Bearcats keep this in season winning streak alive we can only move up in the polls. While Xavier outlasted Butler last night the Dawgs get another opportunity at a top 5 team on Saturday when they play at #1 Nova. #2 Virginia plays hose to Virginia Tech as well.

UPDATE

Top 5 Collapses. Last night we saw a .500 St. John’s beat #1 Villanova and #3 Purdue get beat by #14 OSU. All the Bearcats have to do is win on Saturday and they’ll more than likely arrive in the top 5. A task easier said than done.

Beer of the American Athletic Conference

Must Try Breweries of the AAC

People say a lot of things about the American Athletic Conference. Some say, like those within the conference, that it’s a Power 6. Others insist it’s a Group of 5. “The football is sub par, the basketball isn’t competitive.” What’s the Big 12 doing? Does the Big 12 know what it’s doing? No one really wanted to go to Iowa that many times anyway. While March draws closer we’ll have to wait to see how many teams get a bid to the Big Dance but UCF was the National Champions in football, went undefeated, and dominated Auburn so take that.

Regardless of all of those talking points out of the American one of the things AAC fans should be talking about is some of the cool cities we can travel to for away games. I mean New  Orleans, Memphis, Cincinnati, and Orlando all have great things to offer traveling fans.(So let’s decide to have the AAC Tournament in Hartford, CT almost every year! More on that at another time.)

So for you traveling Bearcats fans, or any fans traveling to watch your team in the American we thought you should know which places in each city to stop and grab a pint or six of local deliciousness. We researched and put together a formula and picked out one brewery in each city for you to make sure you visit on your next road trip to watch your team. The formula? Beer Advocate rating + Untappd Rating + a bonus for close proximity to campus (for easy navigation) = making it on this list + a double bonus if we’ve already had beer from or have been to one of these breweries.

Here we go:

Annapolis, MD – Navy

Chesapeake Brewing Co. If you’re in town good luck against the triple option. I’d check this place out before you get ran all over. It’s one of the few places in the area that brews their own beer and has a good selection of food. Their owner is a graduate of the Naval Academy. If I’m there I’m definitely trying the Oyster Stout and of course the BEAT  ARMY Golden Lager. They host a handful of events through out the year. Patrons had good things to say about this one too.

“Great brewery with good selection of brews, owner and family are super nice people. A must if you are visiting Annapolis.”

Cincinnati, OH – University of Cincinnati

Rhinegeist. It was hard picking one brewery from the hometown but if one brewery captures the city best I think it’s this one. Located in Over-The-Rhine it’s a short drive to campus. The building and architecture is a must see and the beer is top notch. They host all kinds of crazy events to days featuring animals from the Cincinnati Zoo and a wild German Costume contest you’d have to see to believe. I’d also venture to say Rhinegeist is one of the best in state of Ohio. I suggest you have a Truth.

Dallas, TX – Southern Methodist University

Peticolas Brewing Co. In its first year of operations, Peticolas Brewing Company won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) for its Royal Scandal, an English pale ale, a second one a year later for its Great Scot! A Scottish Ale, and a silver medal for It’s Always Something, a Belgian Strong Ale in their third year. So what does that mean? It means they have some awesome beer available for you to try the next time you’re in Dallas!

Greenville, NC – East Carolina University

Trolling Wood Taproom & Brewery. This microbrewery has a pretty cool history. They’re housed in a completely remodeled building that dates back to 1924. The brewer is a graduate of ECU and they operate on a 3 Bbl system, which is basically the smallest system you can have for a commercial operation. What does that mean? Small batch beer that comes out just the way you want it every time. They have a solid patio and live music regularly. It looks like locals love this place which is always a good sign.

“Awesome brewery. I had a great experience here. Owner/brewer is super friendly and knows his beer. The beer was great and the atmosphere was really chill. If you are a beer geek and you don’t hit this brewery up when you are in Greenville, you are missing out.”

Houston, TX – University of Houston

Spindletap Brewery. When you think of Texas what do you think of? … I think of high school football, the beard of James Hardin, and Oil. The last of which is where this brewery finds its heritage and start. Just read the story on their website. They have all all star line up of beers that they can and serve up fresh in the tap room. Special events and food trucks are there all the time. It isn’t Texas Tea, it’s better, it’ Texas craft beer done right.

Memphis, TN – University of Memphis

Ghost River Brewing Co. Memphis, TN is a cool place to visit. It gets called a more tame New Orleans and while I don’t know about all that it is serving up some great beer. Memphis beer is also very interesting because every brewery there uses water from the The Memphis Sand Aquifer because it is purified naturally through 850 feet of fine sand and natural quartz. How cool is that? Ghost River cans or bottles some of its beers too so if it’s football season load up before heading out to tailgate.

New Orleans, LA – Tulane University

Parleaux Beer Lab. With everything there is to do in New Orleans make sure to add this to your itinerary before you forget you made one and can’t remember where Bourbon St is anymore. (Hint: you’re already on Bourbon St.)  This micro-brewery is located in the Bywater community in New Orleans. They have an ever changing beer line up on the taps because this place really is a beer laboratory. They love to experiment!

“This is a really great craft brewery. Great beer selection, chill atmosphere, and a fantastic patio. I’m from Atlanta but if I was local I have a feeling this would be a regular stop.”

Orlando, FL – University of Central Florida

Ellipsis Brewing. Now if you’re a basketball fan this is an important one because the 2018 AAC basketball tournament is hosted by UCF. When you’re there stop by this place. It’s probably the most recently opened brewery on the list but that shouldn’t discourage you. It’s a two story building that houses a 10 Bbl system.  They’re already very popular and have added a stronghold of beer in a newly found beer scene in Orlando. They’re a quick drive from the airport and offer a wide variety of beer.

“Came from out of town expecting an average brewery with average beer and I was blown away. Great brews, great staff and felt right at home. A definite must visit!!!”

Philadelphia, PA – Temple University

Crime and Punishment Brewing Co. This place is cool and it’s located in Philly’s Brewerytown neighborhood. Seems fitting doesn’t it? The beers are unique and the food is Russian inspired. This place aims to mix the once great local brewing tradition with the new age of craft beer techniques and  international influences. They’ve brewed a little known style of beer they call The Grod Inquisitor. Grodziskie, they say “the beer  originates from 14th century Poland and is brewed with 100% oak smoked wheat, and is often soured. They utilize a technique called kettle souring to achieve this desired subtle tartness. Smells of smoked ham and alfalfa bring way to a taste of cloud like sausage lemonade, which finishes with a crisp, dry airiness similar to a brisk wind blowing through your arm hair.”

Stoors, CT – University of Connecticut

Willimantic Brewing Co. I wasn’t sure what I’d find in looking for a brewery in the area but with a short drive from Stoors down to Willimantic you’ll find this brewery housed in an old US Post Office from 1909 to 1967 it sat empty for 30 years until they showed up and started brewing. They brew on a 7 Bbl system and produce a lot of good beer. You’ll feel at home in a cozy atmosphere add some food and you’ll never want to leave. They serve up some award winning chili.

Tampla, FL – University of South Florida

Cigar City Brewing. The first of two of the best breweries in the world on our list. Yeah you can visit 2 of the top 100 breweries in the world by traveling with your team in the American. This place promotes its self as inventive and it certainly is. With beers like Berliner-style Weisse with Cherries and Lime, a Brown Ale with Lactose and Jameson Barrel-rested Coffee, and Double Barrel-aged Imperial Pumpkin Ale. This place knows what it’s doing and is a must stop the next time you’re in Tampa.

Tulsa, OK – University of Tulsa

Prairie Artisan Ales. This was another one I wasn’t sure what we’d find until I remembered this awesome brewery. They can and distribute so odds are you don’t have to travel to far to find one. I just had Bomb! on Saturday (It was top notch) but if you’re in Tulsa look no further than this place. It’s the second of two places on this list that made the Rate Beer list of Best Breweries in the World list for 2015! That alone makes this place a must visit. Be on the look out for their cans and bottles the artwork on them are second to none.

Wichita, KS – Wichita State  University

Central Standard Brewing. You have to seek this place out. It has a chill atmosphere, board games if you want to play with friends or kick back and relax on some retro furniture or on the open patio good for all sorts of things. They use an oak fermentation vessel which is pretty unique. I don’t know if I’ve seen another place do that but I could be and probably am wrong. You can get anything from a crisp pilsner or a truly unique Saison Brett aged on blackberries and French oak.

 

As always we put together a Wish List of one beer from each of these breweries on our Untappd profile (TheBeercat1) for easy findings.

Have you already visited some of these breweries? Let us know how they were with a comment or a reply on twitter.

Bearcats v Houston A Preview

Bearcats. Cougars. Lets Go.


This Wednesday at 7pm on CBSSN the #8 Cincinnati Bearcats (19-2, 8-0) take on the Houston Cougars (16-4, 6-2) at BB&T Arena. Of course the 39 game home winning streak and the current 12 game winning streak are on the line. The Bearcats also have the opportunity to widen the lead in the American over Houston (tied with Wichita St for second) with a win.

The Bearcats breezed by Memphis on Saturday and had a couple days to recoup and prepare for this Houston team.

Houston is led by the Man Bun himself Rob Gray. He’s their hero and leader. The senior averages 19.7 points a game and has the green light at every opportunity. In my opinion he’s one of the top 3 picks for AAC player of the year. I’d currently put him second, right behind Gary Clark. The Bearcats have to know where he is on the floor at all times. I’m guessing JE III, Teddy, and Moore will all see minutes on him. They also have Corey Davis Jr at 12.3 ppg and Devin Davis at 10.8 ppg and 6.4 rpg.

The Cougars average 79.3 points a game and shoot a crisp 46.7 % from the field. They are also all over the glass with 39.5 rebounds per game. Their two losses in conference are to Tulane (81-72) and Wichita St (81-63). The other two losses on the year were to LSU (80-77) and Drexel (84-80) ((ouch)).

The best defense in the country has to be hitting on all cylinders to tame the Cougars.

The GoBeercats Keys to the Game
  • Keep it physical with Man Bun. Keep a body on him and let him earn it. 14 points or less.
  • Keep turnovers to less than 10 (this is super critical) and hit free throws. (Gary had a very off night from the line against Memphis)
  •  Rebound, rebound, rebound.

This game is going to be won in the trenches. Offensive rebounds and turnovers will be huge for the Bearcats. Free throws will need to be hit along the way as well.

Adversity. The Bearcats seemed well in control of the Memphis Tigers on Saturday night. Until half time that is. Memphis came out determined and full of life. They cut down the Bearcats once 16 point down to single digits before the Bearcats knew what hit them. Yes it caused some high blood pressure but I was glad to see them get some resistance. So far the bad AAC teams haven’t shown that kind of life after getting down that much. The Bearcats pushed the lead back over ten and didn’t look back.

Floor General. The Bearcats have a void at the point guard right now. Justin Jenifer seems to have no confidence in his offensive abilities right now and Cane Broom is quick but isn’t up to par on the defensive side of the ball, not to mention he’s turnover prone. For the Bearcats to have one of their starting five produce zero offense leaves them vulnerable. The ‘Cats struggle scoring for stretches of games, not having a key player score at all highlights that. Cronin likes to remedy that with sliding Evans over to PG. What about starting him there and sliding Moore in for a start. He had the D and the shot, as we seen with his dagger late in the game at Memphis on Saturday.

Injury Watch. At Memphis it looked like Gary Clark may have gotten hurt at some point and we all held our breath. Dan and Terry didn’t really make much of it on the radio broadcast just stating that it might have been a shoe insert issue. Apparently Gary goes through them like he does defenses.  I haven’t seen anything else about it so I’m assuming The Problem doesn’t have any. Jarron Cumberland looked just fine on Saturday as well. He twisted an ankle against Temple last week.

Rank Rising. On Monday the most recent AP poll came out having the Bearcats clock in at #8. Their highest rating this season and highest such ranking since they reached #7 in 2014. Cronin is well documented for not caring or discussing the rankings.

The Problem. Gary Clark was named the American Athletic Conference Player of the Week for the second time in a row. He continues to play at an elite level. His resume to earn the title again was nothing short of impressive. He averaged 17.5 ppg, and 9.5 rebounds. He also hit career milestones of 1000 points and 1000 rebounds. Unfortunately he broke his streak of double doubles on Saturday. He had 18 points and 9(!) rebounds. Mr. Clark is also the only player in America that ranks in the top 10 of both offensive and defensive ratings.

Bearcats Defense. Clark ranks #1 in country for his defensive rating. Although it should be noted that Kyle Washington is #5, Jacob Evans III is #6, and Jarron Cumberland is #16. Virginia is the only other team with 2 players in the top 16.

The ESPN match up predictor gives the Bearcats an 89.4% chance to win this game. The Bearcats will push the streaks.

Prediction: Bearcats 65  Cougars 55

Bearcats Host Temple Preview

The #9 Bearcats Host the Temple Owls Tonight!


Tonight at 9pm on CBSSN our Cincinnati Bearcats battle it out again with the Temple Owls (10-9, 2-5) I’m sure we all remember the heroics from Jacob Evans III that it took for the Bearcats to win the game in Philly. I don’t think that will be the story at BB&T later tonight. The Bearcats are rolling right now and are currently favored to win the rest of the games on the schedule! That’s intense. The conference is ours to lose and I like it that way. Controlling your own destiny is always the best case scenario.

Regardless, Temple isn’t going to be an easy fight but we’ve had their best shot at their place and walked away victors. I like the Bearcats by a lot in this one too. In Philly the Owls had two players in double figures, Forward Obi Enechionyia with 14 and Guard Shizz Alston Jr with 12. Josh Brown chipped in with 6 points and 11 rebounds also. The Owls managed to keep it close with the Bearcats on the glass all game which really helped them. They finished with 35 boards and the ‘Cats with 40.

The other huge problem in the first game was turnovers. The Bearcats had 16! We only manged to score 55 points in this one winning by 2 after JEIII hit the game winner with 0.4 seconds left.

Here are the highlights

The Bearcats also struggled from the field shooting 36% in the first half and only shot 60% from the line for the game. I’d bet a dollar that we shoot poor again in the first half. That’s the trend so far this season.

Keys to the game:

  • DON’T TURN THE BALL OVER! Less than 10
  • Make free throws (Jarron Cumberland really improved last game)
  • Feed Gary Clark
  • Shut down Enechionyia and Brown (Probably the best players on the roster)
  • Increase the rebound margin this time around I’d like to see +12 or more

We’re in the Top 10 for the first time since 2014 and I’d like to stay there. We just have to take care of business tonight.

Here are the standings in the American so far. Isn’t it beautiful?

I look for Jarron Cumberland to lead the Bearcats in this one tonight and Gary goes for another double double

Prediction: Bearcats 75 Owls 61

Bearcats Catch Fire in Win Over Bulls

The Bearcats got the W, Jacob Evans III reached 1000 points, and Jarron “Teddy” Cumberland found his stroke. In a game of two very different halves the Bearcats had the firepower to go the distance. The first half was less than ideal with the Bearcats falling behind by 10 at one point. Luckily for us we had solid senior leadership that kept us afloat. Kyle Washington was the anchor in the first half. He had 12 in the first half which included going 8-8 from the free throw line. He kept the team in the game while everyone else was struggling to hit shots and to give USF some credit their D was tenacious in the first half.

Some things we saw last night:

  • USF is attacking the basket and we couldn’t have gotten out to a slower start
  • Teddy has improved on defense or at least at getting deflections
  • Free throws are much improved (Finally!)
  • The Bio’s for the players and coaches are WILD.
  • We fed the post, a lot. Had to in the first half because Kyle was the only one who could make a shot.
  • Cronin’s halftime head explosion worked because they’re much more aggressive
  • Broome and Jenifer were both relatively quite
  • Gary Clack finished with a double double
  • The first half belonged to Kyle, the second half to Teddy
    • He’s Back.
  • Jacob Evans III gets to the 1000 points mark on a 3 late in the second half!
  • Also, there was some criminal lurking in the back halls offering money and free adidas merchandise to players. Security really needs beefed up in Florida.

How do I know Teddy is back? Just look here: (I know the picture quality sucks)

Cumberland is in the top left of both of those just holding his pose knowing he’s stroking it. Watch out and Welcome to Cumberland ladies and gentlemen.

We can’t forget the #Beerofthegame

Next up for the Bearcats is 100′ giant Tako Fall and the UCF Knights on Tuesday.