Unlike their counterparts across town, the Bearcats wake up this morning knowing this coming week will be relatively stress free at least in regard to their NCAA Tournament status. They're in. But where will they be seeded?
Joe Lunardi hasn't updated his since Thursday, but he had UC as a 4 seed in the South Region playing North Dakota State with the winner likely facing San Diego State in Spokane. Jerry Palm had his updated late Saturday night and had them as a 3 seed in the Midwest facing Georgia State...then likely Kentucky in the second round in Raleigh.
Now these projections are pretty much guesses as far as matchups and where they play, but the seedings are pretty accurate. As a Bearcats fan I want no part of Justin Jackson vs Julius Randle. But I'd be ok with a matchup with San Diego State. I know Kentucky is up and down, but Randle can dominate a game and with UC being ultra thin up front - literally and figuratively - I don't want to see that one.
So, as we enter conference tournament week, what do you see for the Bearcats? Are they no lower than a 4 no matter what? What if they somehow lose the first game against a Temple squad that gave UC fits in both games? Do they drop a slot? They don't dare drop two slots do they? I can't see anything lower than a 5 honestly.
What happens if they win the whole thing including Memphis in the semis and Louisville in the championship game? Could they possibly jump all the way up to a 2 seed? I guess it all depends on what happens to the other current higher seeds this week. I think a 1 seed is out so the best they can get is a 2 and I don't see that being a huge stretch should the capture the tournament next weekend.
Provided UC does not lose to UCF or Temple Thursday night I think UC gets a 3 when it's all said and done. I think they sneak past Temple but I don't think they can beat Louisville in the Championship. In the semis, if they play UConn I think they win. I'll go with the upset and say Memphis finally gains their revenge on UC at home. That one pains me to say because Josh Pastner is not a good coach, the Tigers are not good inside, and I think UC matches up well with Memphis. But, it's hard to beat a team 3 times in the same season (unless you are the 1992 Final Four Bearcats who knocked off Memphis FOUR times that year) and I'm just going with the "gotta get one sometime" theory. So after all that, I'm saying UC gets a 3 seed and gets someone like Texas in the second (not saying third) round.