March Madness has completed its round of 32 but no Cincinnati teams are in the Sweet 16 mix. This weekend was depressing, to say the least, as the Cincinnati Bearcats lost in a heart breaking fashion against St. Joe Hawks 78-76. The Bearcats were up 76 to 75 with 30 seconds to go, however, the Hawks nailed a 3 pointer with 10 seconds left to put them in the lead. Troy Caupain drove down the court and was inches away from the basket, but at the last split second he dished it off to a wide open Octavius Ellis and he dunked the ball with literally 1 second left. At first, the ref called it valid and we were going into OT. However, after reviewing the play frame by frame, Ellis still had his fingertips on the ball when the clock hit 0. It was such a hard fought battle and so sad to see the team lose, especially like that. For a team like Cincinnati, that faced tough loses this year, that was probably the worse way to lose in a NCAA tournament. While Caupain and Ellis were off their game, true freshman Jacob Evans gave a hell of a performance scoring a career high 26 points, 9 rebounds and 1 assist. It was heartbreaking to see this game because, yet again, Cincy could not close out a close game. Before the NCAA tournament, Coach Mick Cronin stated that they need to create their own luck and go forward. However, I strongly believe that the sports Gods has officially dubbed the city of Cincinnati, “Bad Luck City.” Why? Let’s review what happened in sports in the city of Cincinnati.
- On January 9th, 2016, the Cincinnati Bengals faced rival foe Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Wild Card game. Down 15 to 0 in the 3rd quarter, back up QB AJ McCarron led the Bengals to take a 16 to 15 lead in the 4th quarter. However, due to a costly fumble by Jeremy Hill and costly penalties by Vontaze Burfict and Adam Jones, it allowed the Steelers to set up a field and win 18 to 15. Thus, making the community of Cincinnati to wonder if we will ever win a playoff game.
- Cincinnati Reds completed their season ever since 1982. A record of 64-98. Not only that we traded Todd “Godfather” Frazier, a major force for the Cincinnati team. Makes us wonder, if we will ever be World Series Champions.
- The Cincinnati Bearcats football team, led by 3rd year coach Tommy Tuberville, had a horrendous year finishing off 7-6, the worst record under Tuberville at Cincinnati. With a stellar roster in receivers, Cincinnati couldn’t win important games such as Temple, BYU, and Memphis. The worst loss was a 65 to 27 blowout against a mediocre South Florida team. USF up 51-3 at halftime, the bulls never looked back as they ram over the Bearcats. In the Hawaii bowl, the MWC Champs San Diego State easily defeated the Cincinnati Bearcats 42 to 7. In 3 seasons, Tuberville hasn’t managed to beat a ranked opponent, win a bowl game and secure a defensive coordinator (a different defensive coordinator in 3 seasons).
- The Cincinnati Bearcats basketball team, led by Mick Cronin, had a roller coaster season. The theme of “closing out close games” comes to mind for this 2016 season. In games against Butler, Iowa St, SMU, Temple, UConn and St Joe’s, the bearcats led with 45 seconds left but lost. The worst during this season was the AAC tournament against the UConn Huskies. The bearcats were up by 3 in the third OT with .8 seconds left thanks to a Kevin Johnson 3 pointer. The UConn Huskies managed to heave the basketball and score to pull it into a 4th OT. Bearcats couldn’t pull it out in the end as the Huskies beat the Bearcats and win the AAC championship
As you can see, the luck in Cincinnati was not in our favor in sports. Being a die hard fan of the Bearcats and Bengals, it just makes me wonder if we will ever in a Super Bowl or a bowl win or a trip to the final 4. I guess only time will tell if Cincinnati will get that kind of glory