Last week, we released an article in support of Mick Cronin’s bold, but truthful and factually accurate, statements on UC’s superiority over the likes of Kentucky, Indiana, and Louisville.
This week the Bearcats beat #11 Wichita State on the road at Charles Koch Arena on Senior Day. The 10,000-seat building was packed to the gills and loud as all get out. Every crop farmer in the state of Kansas was in the house streaming their lungs out. This was a huge win and yet another accolade on UC’s tournament resume. What a way to end the regular season. The AAC sure knew what it was doing by planning this rock fight at the end of the season between 2 top teams. The Cincinnati Wichita State game drew the highest TV rating in the 5-year history of the AAC. Nearly 20% of all TVs in greater Cincinnati tuned in.
The Bearcats’ updated metrics are below:
BPI SOR 11
UC’s worst loss of the year is a 6-point loss on a neutral court to now #23 Florida. Houston clocks in at #21. The Shockers are at #11. And Xavier is all the way up to #2. Yes, the Queen City hosts 2 of the top-8 teams in the country and all of the ESPN and media giants are ignoring this amazing accomplishment. Screw Tobacco Road, Duke, and North Carolina. The absolute best basketball is being played where Skyline Chili calls home. The AAC boasts 3 top-25 teams, all of which, will be quite pesky to face in the tournament.
UC is moving on up – regarded as a 2-seed by ESPN, CBS, and USA Today. UC is projected to play 15-seed Iona in Pittsburgh. The Cats would then face the winner between Kansas State and old foe Seton Hall before facing, Auburn or possibly Miami. Sign me up for this draw – a very realistic shot at the Sweet 16! UC last made the Sweet Sixteen in 2012 as a 6-seed.
Call me crazy, but the difference between seeds 2 and 3 is massive. If UC can pull this off it would be a huge advantage for the tournament. How the mighty basketball gods value conference tournaments is questionable. If, hypothetically, UC does not win out in the tournament, we remain hopeful the Bearcats will still be poised for a 2-seed. However, I am always a fan of playing more games, winning, and gelling between now and next week as compared to losing and resting. Getting on a roll is key.
UC is currently ranked 8th in the AP and Coach’s Polls. Meanwhile, Louisville is still unranked. Kentucky is unranked despite the voters trying to find any excuse to place a top-25 mark next to UK. And Indiana is nowhere to be found yet again.
People do not like to see Cincinnati do well, but we sure do! Let’s bask in every minute of this glorious season. It will be over before we know it.
By Andy Smith