No Coach Could Do What Mick Cronin And The Bearcats Did Against SMU
Peel back the layers from Cincinnati Bearcats Men’s Basketball blowout victory at SMU on Sunday. What do you see?
The outer layers show, first and foremost a win. SMU played without their best player Shake Milton and others and still scored 51 points. This team will be a force in the NCAA tournament. UC’s defense was just too much for the Mustangs. The Bearcats broke the Moody Coliseum curse, first win inside that dump since the 2015 season.
Keep pealing. Kyle Washington led the team in scoring with 17 points and eight rebounds. His resurgence during the second half of the season is just what the team needs. He is one of the x-factors heading into tournament play. Gary Clark had a Gary Clark game with 11 points, six rebounds, two assists and one block. Jarron Cumberland had 12 points with 4 assists and three rebounds.
And more pealing. Keith Williams got playing time thanks to the game getting out of hand early in the second half. 8 points off the bench. He will be the key and getting those 12 minutes helped on Sunday. Eliel Nsoseme got 11 mintues, and Nysier Brooks continues to play well lately scoring 4 points and five rebounds in 19 mintues.
That’s enough peeling. What you’re left with is No. 6 Cincinnati’s 76-51 win over the SMU Mustangs. The Mustangs are playing with fewer scholarships on their team but guess what? This well could be the first team in NCAA history with fewer scholarship players on their team to make the Final Four. That’s how good they are.
SMU scored 21 points in the first half against the Bearcats’ suffocating defense. UCF had 13 on Tuesday. So what the Mustangs did with few players on their rotation is nothing amazing and inspiring.
Head coach of the Mustangs Tim Jankovich is a scary looking dude but is a hall of fame coach and one of the best to ever coach the game.
By my count, three were in double figures in Cincinnati’s easy win over SMU. Chris Mack taught us you need four at least players in double digits to win. The Cats had three and still won by 26 on the road. SMU had two players that each had 19 points but only two bench points. Chris Mack algorithm math states that’s a Cincinnati win.
To recap, Cronin had. A.) The number two ranked defense in the country B.) Jacob Evans only scored 9 points but didn’t need him in this game C.) The bench got solid playing minutes. D.) Had more players available than SMU.
Instead of feeling sorry for SMU, Cincinnati put its hard hats on and went to work.
This win doesn’t have the appeal of at UCLA or the win against Mississippi State on a national scale (Seth Davis you rat), but it’s right up there regarding what it meant to the UC locker room.
The team is only faltering in the sense that they’re falling victim to “life in the American,” and that’s not fair. People will look at this score and see it’s SMU and not your Mustangs of 2017. This SMU bunch will be in San Antonio in April, BET.
UC is 23-2 on the season, 16 game winning streak, 12-0 in the American and by noon today will be a top 5 team in the country. Amazing.
The Bearcats continue on the road and play probably one of the toughest games in the season at Houston on CBS Sports Network on Thursday at 7 pm.
This whole blog was written by The Enquirer’s Pat Brennan weeks ago about Xavier’s “impressive” win over Marshall. It was absurd at the time and a crazy spin zone. We decided to take Pat’s article and plug UC’s stats. The Enquirer won’t spin area this win for UC as a positive so we’ll use their article to do it ourselves.
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