The Cincinnati Bearcats have climbed back into the Associated Press Top 25, receiving more votes than Washington, Mississippi State, and Auburn. At 19-3, the Bearcats are still ranked behind a number of six loss Big Ten teams, but that conference’s strength (or lack thereof) will be revealed again during the NCAA Tournament this March.
Heading into the season, many viewed this as rebuilding year with the prominent departures of universally beloved Gary Clark, Jacob Evans, and Kyle Washington. The returning players, it appears, did not buy into that belief, and Head Coach Mick Cronin continues to succeed as his years in charge of the program grow more numerous.
Locally, no other Cincinnati-area program was ranked in the Top 25. Quite the opposite, the Xavier University Musketeers are 12-13, a game below .500, and trending downward. The Musketeers will have to battle just to make it to the NIT this March.
By Brian Fox