To say it bluntly, the SMU Mustangs rolled over the Cincinnati Bearcats Sunday afternoon to win the American Athletic Conference tournament in a final score 71-56.
I give all the credit to SMU. They are a really good team this year and I’m excited to see their run in the NCAA tournament. Even with the 7 man rotation, they’re unstoppable. Led by AAC player of the year Semi Ojeleye, they just had all the tools necessary to beat UC. The Bearcats, I think, were exhausted by the Saturday’s match up against UConn. Also, junior forward Kyle Washington had 2 early fouls in the game which made him go straight to the bench. The Bearcats would’ve had a chance if they could’ve pushed the tempo and drive to the hoop to score. But, I give credit to SMU’s defense. To play for 3 straight days is hard, but SMU are on a roll. They haven’t lost since January. Cincinnati, on the other hand, better brush that off really quick. It’s a new season now.
After the game, I watched, in disbelief, to see the Bearcats get a #6 seed in the big dance. You know why? Coach Cronin called out the NCAA committee saying that they draw on ticket sales for seeding placements. Just watch it for yourself
And you know what. Cronin is absolutely true. You got the #2 Kentucky & #2 Louisville playing in Indiana, you got the power houses Duke and North Carolina playing in Carolina. Pretty much all the higher seeds get the luck of the draw to have fans come out and see them. The Cincinnati Bearcats have a respectable 29-5 record with quality wins over Xavier, at Iowa State (who has a #5 seed), and a win over SMU. The “best” part is our #6 seed draw has us playing in Sacramento, California. It is total bull s***. This is the 3rd time in 4 years that the Bearcats have to play in the pacific coast in the NCAA tournament. There is just no respect for Coach Cronin and this team. Ever since Cronin called out the committee on their true motivations on the selection process, they decide to slap us in the face sending us out to California. Oh well. You can’t complain. These players know what’s at stake and its time for them to shock the world.
The Cincinnati Bearcats will play Friday night against the winner of the first round game, Wake Forrest vs. Kansas State. I believe we could beat either of these teams. If I had to pick, I would want to play Wake Forrest, just because Kansas State’s offensive power is great and they beat Baylor twice. Kansas could potentially upset the Bearcats and I don’t see Wake Forrest doing so. If a possible win, the Bearcats would have to play the winner of the #3 UCLA vs #14 Kent State. Uhhh…go Kent State? UCLA is a big power house. They rank #1 in the country in points per game. They are a high, fast paced team and can score in transition. However, they haven’t really dealt with a strong defense like Cincinnati’s. A lot of analysts have UCLA going to the Final 4. However, there are some that can see a possible upset by Cincinnati. The Pac-12 as a conference doesn’t do well going far in the Big Dance. So, we’ll just have to wait and see. I just hope the Bearcats get their minds sharped and focus for the Tournament. Every player, going all the way down to Tobler, has to contribute and make big plays. Together as a team and we can do this. Can’t wait for the madness to start! Go Bearcats!!!