No Coach Could Do What Mick Cronin And The Bearcats Did Against UConn
Peel back the layers from Cincinnati Bearcats Men’s Basketball road victory over the UConn Huskies. What do you see?
The outer layers show, first and foremost a win. A road win against the lowly UConn Huskies. These aren’t your 2014 National Champs Huskies, but this team has the potential to be better than that team they are good. The Bearcats were just the better team on this Saturday afternoon.
Keep peeling. Kyle Washington was dominating the boards early in the game. He had seven rebounds in the first five minutes of the game, and most of them were offensive rebounds. His toughness the last two games have been a pleasure to watch, and we need him to be like this if this team wants to have a deep run in March. Washington finishes the game with a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds.
And more peeling. Jacob Evans is the go-to player on this team. He led the team in scoring with 19 points, and he was being aggressive and going to the rim. Jake was 9-10 from free throw line so that should tell you a lot because he was just putting his head down and going to the basket.
That’s enough peeling. What you’re left with is No. 8 Cincinnati’s 65-57 victory over the UConn Huskies. The Huskies are well on track to win the conference but let the Bearcats back into the race with this latest defeat. Jalen Adams did everything in his power to will his team back in the game. They didn’t score a basket in the first eight minutes of the game, but UConn continued to fight because that’s who they are and its the reason why a deep March run is in place Kevin Ollie’s bunch.
Adams and Christian Vital put the team on their backs. The best backcourt duo possible in NCAA history. Adams had 20 and Vital with 18. UC was able to withstand off the dynamic duo because of great defense. Just incredible.
Ollie has inherited his best UConn team, and this loss is just a minor setback. This is a significant time effort by UC because they had overcome that and the Huskies’ intimidating home crowd in Gampel.
By my count, three were in double figures in Cincinnati’s victory over UConn. Chris Mack taught us you need four at least players in double digits to win. The Cats had three and still won on the road against a National title contender. UConn only had two. Chris Mack algorithm math states that’s a Cincinnati win.
To recap, Cronin had. A.) Jacob Evans leading the way in scoring B.) Kyle Washington was crashing the boards like an animal D). Cane Broome comes home and has the excellent game with 10 points off the bench. D.) Keith Williams knocked down a buzzer-beater three-pointer to end the first half which was vital cause UConn was gaining momentum.
Instead of laying a big egg after an emotional win against Houston the other night, Cincinnati put its hard hats on and went to work.
The offense was not the best as UConn continued to be in the game because of that. Gary Clark struggled only had five points as the zone for the Huskies gave UC fits. There were no paint touches. The three-point line was the difference with UC hitting 9 of them but attempting 25.
UC was up by 19 in the middle of the second half and then went to bed as the Huskies kept battling to the end and made it frustrating for Mick Cronin and fans. You can’t let up against a power like UConn especially on their home court. Some terrible offensive execution and shot selection down the stretch.
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 not your loveable UConn Huskies and not be impressed. Are you blind? UConn is the favorite to win the conference.
UC has now won 14 in a row and are 21-2 overall and 10-0 American, three and a half lead on second place Wichita State.
The Bearcats return home to BB&T Arena and take on the UCF Knights on Tuesday night at 7 pm on CBS Sports Network.
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 against UCF into it. 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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