The Cincinnati Bearcats have advanced to the Conference Championship game after a hard fought win against UConn tonight. There was a lot that happened in tonight’s game against UConn. But, before I get to that let’s start from the beginning.
Friday night, the Bearcats steam rolled against Tulsa 80-61. Senior leader Troy Caupain led his troops tallying up 15 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Forward Kyle Washington and sophomore stud Jacob Evans were the stars of the evening scoring 21 and 20 points respectively. Freshman Jarron Cumberland scored 9 points off the bench as well.
Now, let’s get to tonight’s game.
The Cincinnati Bearcats have beat UConn twice during the regular season. To beat them for a 3rd time, in their backyard, is a different story. For UC, they’ve lost to UConn in every AAC tournament the past 3 years. They knew it was going to be a tough, physical game and it sure didn’t disappoint. Tonight’s game featured a combined total of 56 fouls committed. Which brings to my next point.
The American Athletic Conference is completely ridiculous. To have a “neutral” championship game within minutes for Connecticut is, hate to say it, unfair. The arena had at least 10,000 UConn fans while the SMU fans only have a few alumni and cheer team. It’s just not good for the conference.
The referees sucked tonight. If the UConn fans hated the refs because of stupid calls on Connecticut, they pretty much did the same for Cincinnati. UConn senior Amidah Brimah should’ve been thrown out of the game. 1, he pretty much knocked Gary Clark’s tooth out. 2, he intentionally punched Nysier Brooks in the face. Head Coach Mick Cronin made it clear as day that when Octavius Ellis got kicked out last year for a punch, he got kicked out. It should’ve happened for Brimah. But all day long, the refs called so many whistles on both sides of the ball and didn’t let the kids play. Like I said the refs suck. They reviewed so much film over and over. They really need to be fired.
Even though Gary Clark got his tooth chipped, he didn’t let that stop him. He was a problem and scored 25 points, going 15-16 on the free throw line. Clark has been a problem for UConn all season long and I love it. As a team, Cincinnati were 38-46 on free throws, that’s how many fouls the refs called tonight. Troy Caupain scored 18 points and Jacob Evans scored 21 points. And again, freshman Jarron Cumberland scored 11 points. The kid’s future is looking bright.
After the game, I was going through my twitter feed and it seems that the UConn fans just don’t give up. Apparently, some Cincy fans witnessed some UConn fans on courtside saying very vulgar things to the Cincy players, in particular Troy Caupain. And, there were security on site to separate the Cincy and UConn fans. That’s really sad. On a personal stand point, I am really sorry that UConn went through a tough season dealing with injuries but that doesn’t give them a right to say profain things to the Cincinnati Basketball team and fans. The refs pretty much ruined your night. If you want to fight someone, fight them. You lost, get over it. Stop being a bunch of cry babies.
Now that that’s over with, it’s time to focus for tomorrow. The Bearcats play for a conference championship for the first time since 2004 back in the Conference USA days. Man, if we could get this win, 2-1 against SMU, 30-4 record, I could literally smell a #4 or #3 seed in the big dance. I’m literally so happy for this team. Everyone is contributing and doing their part. Let’s just hope we get decent refs for tomorrow’s game. I’m particularly happy for Troy. He’s 2 assists away from being the all-time assist leader for UC. Sophomore Jacob Evans is on a hot streak with his three pointers and freshman Jarron Cumberland is clutching his shots as well. Washington, Johnson, Scott, Jenifer and all the others are working well together. Hope they’re getting a good nights rest. They’ll need it. It will be a bloodbath against SMU for the championship title tomorrow. Going to be fun to watch! Go Bearcats!