— Cincinnati MBB (@GoBearcatsMBB) October 3, 2017
The Cincinnati Bearcats will open new Fifth Third Arena by hosting Ohio State. For the first time since 1920, the Buckeyes will come to Clifton for a basketball game against the Bearcats. This is also the first regular-season meeting between the two schools since 1921 when the Bearcats traveled to Columbus. Two schools separated by 90 minutes will finally meet for a home and home, hell has frozen over.
Cincinnati’s out of conference home opponents for 2018 will consist of Ohio State, Xavier, and UCLA. Not too shabby from that boy Mike Bohn. Opening Fifth Third with Ohio State is a power move by the Bearcats, you don’t open a new arena without thinking you’re going to win. Who better to schedule than the 4th/5th best basketball school in Ohio?
This Is Big
“Why are Bearcats fans excited about playing Ohio State, they’re bad.”
You’re not wrong there anonymous Bearcats fan. This runs deeper than purely playing a good or bad team. Every Bearcats fan has a personal vendetta against Ohio State and it goes back decades. For decades Ohio State has dictated the course of UC athletics. Fifth Third was designed to look like a glorified high school gym because of Ohio State. UC isn’t in a P5 conference in part because of Ohio State. Gordon Gee said while he was president at Ohio State they would do things just so UC couldn’t. This hatred runs deep.
Ohio State only plays pushover schools in the state. They play your Bowling Green’s and Kent State’s of the world, dabble in some Youngstown State and Akron here and there. For some reason, the Buckeyes never seem to be capable of scheduling the Bearcats. Then when they do it can only be in Columbus.
Since 1949 the Bearcats and Buckeyes have only met 4 times. Three of those times being in the tournament (Cincinnati leads 2-1) and once in the regular season but the game was played in Indianapolis. Four meetings in 68 years. Unreal.
Now, at least one time in our lifetime the Buckeyes will be coming to Cincinnati. It won’t happen for another hundred years so you better buy season tickets or prepare for a bidding war on StubHub against Ohio State fans.
Bearcats Should Roll
Mick Cronin has the boys in black playing phenomenal basketball. The Bearcats haven’t loss inside Fifth Third Arena since 2015, they’re not looking to end that streak in the home opener. Chris Holtmann took over for the fired Thad Matta this offseason in Columbus. At a town hall, he asked if fans wanted to see the Buckeyes play Cincinnati or Xavier, there was a resounding yes vote following that question. Thanks to him and the administration there for getting this done.
In 2018 the Bearcats could have a powerhouse team again. If Mick can convince Jacob Evans to stay for his senior year, Jarron Cumberland for his junior and Cane Broome for another season the Bearcats could be a pre-season Top 10 team once again. Ohio State meanwhile will be in year two of the Holtmann era, likely won’t be a powerhouse yet. However, Holtmann did beat Cincinnati twice while at Butler, so there’s that.
Either way, it’s going to be great to hand Ohio State that L and send them back on their merry way to Columbus. Ohio State may be the football power in the state but basketball power is in Cincinnati.
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