First, hell of a season Bearcats. Absolutely nothing to hang your head about, you did everything possible. The NCAA screwed Cincinnati with the seeding, the location and the officiating. An absolutely ridiculous trifecta of shit as punishment for Mick Cronin’s comments.
Cincinnati started off hot, and led at halftime. Kevin Johnson came to play in the first half. Cincinnati was able to control the pace of the game in the first half with no help from the officials. UCLA could get away with murder but the Cats held them and led 33-30 at the half.
The second half saw the refs turn a blind eye to what UCLA was doing and call Cincinnati for EVERYTHING. UCLA was hand checking, bodying, traveling, pulling jersey, anything and everything. No call. Cincinnati meanwhile held their hands up the wrong way and that was it. Whistle. Just a trash performance by the refs in what should have been a fire meets ice game for 40 minutes.
Lonzo Ball played like an above average player, nothing special. Only 18 points for the freshman from a pathetic grown man’s balls. Our star freshman Jarron Cumberland played half the minutes and scored 15 points. Not impressed by Ball’s performance. Shoutout to TBS for not showing his trash father. At least I didn’t see him.
Cincinnati should never have been a #6 seed and should never have been in Sacrament. UC was the #2 six seed which should have put them in Orlando where Maryland was placed against Xavier. That game should have been out west and Cincinnati/Kansas State should have been there. Or you know, actually seed the Bearcats where they belonged in the #4-5 range and we don’t have this issue. Or give us a cupcake walk like Xavier got.
But hey, it’s the NCAA and it’s all about the athletes and not the money. So we flew 2,400 miles for a week. Not that the NCAA wanted a UK v. UCLA, that’s not for the money. Nooooo, having two storied, blue blood programs definitely doesn’t get ratings and sell tickets.
UCLA was only called for 2 fouls in the second half. TWO. Hold up two fingers. Yeah that many, for 20 minutes. Bullshit officiating at it’s finest. Cincinnati was called for 8. Yeah, fair.
It’s a shame this team was robbed of a proper chance. 30 wins down the drain because some people at the NCAA don’t like when a coach rocks the boat. Two 30 win teams should never meet in the second round.
Cincinnati will be back next year. Send us to the west coast again. Eventually the law of averages will fall in our favor. This was the most fun we’ve had in a season in a long time. Love this team, this season and everyone that joined us for the ride. Cincinnati is back and I’ll be damned if this is the ceiling.
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Ps. I’m angry so maybe I’ll feel differently tomorrow but for now…