Big East Tournament Quarterfinals | Three Keys To The Bearcats and Hoyas

Feb 29, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats forward Yancy Gates (34) dunks in the second half against the Marquette Golden Eagles at the FifthThird Arena. The Bearcats defeated the Golden Eagles 72-61. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

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The Bearcats and the Hoya's have matched up before this season. Way back on January 15th. It was a very, very weird game. One where there Bearcats won on the road despite allowing 60 per cent shooting from the floor and three point line while shooting just 40 per cent from the floor and 30 per cent from three. If the Bearcats are to repeat the result and move on to face Syracuse (probably) three things should be at the top of the white board.

Win The Turnover Margin

The single biggest reason the Bearcats won the game in January is because they forced 17 Hoya turnovers while committing just 9. In the months since the trends that were on display in that game haven't changed. UC still tends to dominate the turnover margin and commit relatively few mistakes with the basketball.

Georgetown meanwhile still struggles with ball control. One reason for that is that the bigs tend to be play makers for the Hoyas because of the offensive style. That is all well and good but there is always a risk with the approach. Namely that a big guy with quick hands can cause havoc. Believe it or not that is Yancy Gates. Yancy averages less than a steal per gram but his active hands have caused issues for opponents all year.

Don't Settle For Jumpers

My biggest nightmare is that Dion Dixon and Cashmere Wright both make threes early. When that happens they both tend to just settle for jumpers the rest of the night. That is a recipe for disaster against this Georgetown team. The Hoyas are excellent on the defensive end and have improved greatly as the season has gone on because of their switch to zone defense.

This Hoya team is much better defending the three point line because of the change in tactics. This team is every bit as long and active as USF. That's not encouraging. Sean Kilpatrick and Dion Dixon have to attack the basket and get to the line. It will simply be easier to win by getting to the line than by reigning threes in.

Offensive Glass Is A Must

This is on you Yancy Gates. The offensive glass is an area where UC can do damage to Georgetown. Particularly with the way Yancy has been hitting the glass recently. That's an understatement. In the last 7 games Gates has grabbed 26 per cent of the available offensive rebounds. As a rule anything above 10 per cent is good. 26 is off the charts. Another big game on the offensive glass is a must.

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