There are 12 games remaining for the regular season. The Cincinnati Bearcats are rolling at a 17-2 pace, 6-0 in the American. One of the biggest questions is can they keep this up? Can the Bearcats win the league? To answer them, let's predict the rest of the schedule. Where are you creepy crystal ball guy?
Vs Central Florida
Central Florida is one of those teams that Cincinnati should handle at home. Period. The program is too good to lose to Central Florida at home.
Temple gave Cincinnati a bit of a run one week ago. Your Royal Rumble night shouldn't be ruined by a UC loss. I think this game will have a larger final margin than the game last week.
Cincinnati hasn't defeated Louisville outside of Cincinnati since the 2010 Big East tournament. They haven't won in Louisville since New Year's Day of 2008. I don't think the final trip to Louisville will break that streak.
Vs South Florida
The Bulls are bad. They shouldn't win in Cincinnati. The only teams they've beaten on the road are Temple, Bradley, George Mason and Bowling Green.
While it would be great for Cincinnati to hold home court all season long, I don't think it's going to happen.
The Mustangs gave Cincinnati all they could handle to open 2014. It's going to be a tough game, at least on paper, that the Mustangs would need for their NCAA resume. I don't think they'll get it.
Houston is a nice little team but no one would call them road warriors. They have a chance for wins over Memphis and Connecticut on the road before they would play the Cats the day after Valentine's. That could change minds. But those games haven't happened yet so I think they'll lose both of them and lose this one too.
At Central Florida
This game only scares me because of how ugly UCF's court happens to be.
Cincinnati has handled Louisville at home the past couple of meetings. This is a national game on CBS. The last time UC played a national game on CBS, Notre Dame ran them out of the gym. I don't think that'll happen against Louisville, but I do think the Cardinals sweep because they are very good defensively and I don't know how UC scores enough to beat them.
I think Cincinnati and UConn are going to beat each other on the other's home courts this year.
Sean Kilpatrick and Justin Jackson's senior day. Cincinnati played Memphis in a very emotional game on Steve Logan's senior day. Kilpatrick could pass Logan in all time scoring during this game. A lot of parallels.
Rutgers seems like it could be a huge let down game after the Louisville, UConn, Memphis gauntlet. Especially since this game is a Saturday noon game after a Thursday night game against the Tigers. Cincinnati could be playing for a piece of the league title.
Before the season and even right now as I type this, I wouldn't think this Bearcat team is a 26-5 team. I am tempted to change SMU to a loss. Winning on the road in conference is very tough. There are the huge road trips to Louisville and Connecticut and even SMU. Temple, UCF and Rutgers are other 3 road games and quite frankly, UC should not lose those.
I think there are 4 near lock wins on the slate, UCF, Temple and USF. That moves us to 21-2. If we assume UC loses all 3 big road games, that's 21-5. Beat Rutgers on the road and that's 22-5. Win the rest of the home games and you get 26-5. That's another 26-5 combination that seems realistic.
It seems a bit homerish to think that Cincinnati will have such a lofty record, a record they haven't produced since 2003-04 when they finished 25-7. They haven't lost fewer than 6 games in a season since the 2001-02 year with Steve Logan. I could be going way overboard, I'll admit. I am feeling good about this team. It's ok to be confident.no comments