The Layup Line: Temple, Again

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Seems like just two weeks ago we previewed Temple. How 'bout another round of brotherly love for you and the Bearcats?

It's that time of year where the sun shines on Bearcatland just a bit longer day after day - and, thanks to the inverse property of the Layup Line, my game previews get shorter and shorter. This also just happens to coincide with the fact that Bearcat opponents are being repeated for the first time this season, so I don't have as much to school you on.

My newfound brevity, though, will still include the same charismatic charm and spot-on predictions, so don't stop reading just yet.

  • Game: Sunday, January 26, 2014; 4:00pm EST
  • Location: Licouras Center; Philadelphia, PA
  • TV/Radio: CBSSN (No Wolf or Johansen!); 700 WLW

Since the last Temple preview, the Bearcats and Owls aren't located in the same hemisphere. Temple (5-12) is in the midst of a 7-game losing streak - including a 24-point loss to Connecticut this past Tuesday. And in order for that losing streak to continue, the Bearcats will need to muster up their 12th win in-a-row. And that makes me nervous.

Yes, it's completely irrational. On paper, this game shouldn't be close. The Bearcats lead the conference in scoring defense while the Owls are dead last. And this whole 90% regular season winning percentage is new and taking a little getting used to.

But the Owls have 4 guys that average 14 or more points a game. That's insane. And they're playing in Philly. Another reason to be nervous, right? And can the Bearcats win 12 games in-a-row?

All aboard the crazy train of Cincinnati fandom...

Look, I don't know why, but my gut says bad things may be in store for the Bearcats on Sunday.

What the 'Cats have to do to win:

  • Stop 1 of the 4 scorers. The Owls don't have much after Pepper, Cummings, DeCosey and Lee (that'd make a helluva law firm). Hold one of them to under 10 points, and I like Cincinnati's chances.
  • Hold Temple under 65. Doesn't seem like that big of a deal for a Bearcats team that hasn't given up more than 70 points since Reagan was in office. Or something like that. But the Owls are averaging 75 points a game in AAC play.
  • Stay out of foul trouble. Temple's not deep, so the Bearcats can't give them any added help on Sunday.

My prediction: I'm having the hardest time reconciling my head and my gut, here. My head says this one should be a breeze, and the 'Cats win by 6 or 7. But my gut says the Bearcats find trouble in Philly. They have rebounding issues, and with Louisville this coming week, I'm afraid the Bearcats are looking ahead. I'm gonna go with my gut, folks - as crazy as it sounds. Owls in a shocker: 63-59

But in hopes of the Bearcats rolling along, try not to dance to this...

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