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The Layup Line: Chicago State

The Bearcats look to reach double digit wins for the first time this season. And they will. No doubt.

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

This one'll be short and sweet. It's the holidays, and I have better things to do than research a 5-6 team with a 250+ RPI. This obviously isn't the first cupcake the 'Cats have played this year, but it is the last non-conference cupcake game of the season. Let's eat...

  • Game: Monday, December 23 @ 7:00pm ET
  • Location: Fifth Third Arena/Shoemaker Center; Cincinnati, OH
  • TV/Radio: ESPN3; 700WLW

The last time Cincinnati faced Chicago State? Exactly 2 years ago to the day - December 23, 2011 - where the 'Cats won by 35 at Fifth Third Arena. I don't remember if that game was on television or not, but this one isn't. Really sucks if you don't have ESPN3. And it probably sucks, too, even if you have ESPN3. I've heard the feed has been spotty at times this year.

Speaking of which - it's 2013; cut back on your McRib sandwiches and pony up a little extra for a provider with ESPN3. Or you can always listen to Dan & Chuck on 700WLW. I'm not sure there's a better announcing combo in the biz.

Anyway, Chicago State won't put up much of a fight. They've yet to win a game on the road, and I'm sure all 48 students in attendance on Monday night will really put the fear of God in the Cougars. Attendance has been brutal all year, and with the college kids on winter break, there'll be another bleak turnout in Clifton.

Yes, the Cougars. I thought about linking out to a few pages featuring hot cougars, but I don't know if you're reading this at work or not. And if you're not at work, you've been to several questionable websites already. As much as I'd like to think this site is your first stop each day, I know better. But if you wanna see more cougar links, tell me so in the comments section below...

The Cougars are led by 6'4" senior forward Quinton Pippen (#33). This dude plays in Chicago, wears the number 33, and has a last name of Pippen. That's ballsy.

And, yes, he's also the nephew of Hall of Famer, Scottie Pippen. But wearing #33 in Chicago with that last name takes big round ones. There's a shadow you can NEVER get out of. Anyway, Pippen averages 14 points and 3 assists each game. He also leads the team in steals. Regardless of what he does, though, the Bearcats should still win.

On average, the Cougars give up more points than they score each game. Their opponents shoot better from both 2-point and 3-point range. They get outrebounded. And their opponents have a better percentage from the free-throw line. Yawn.

What the 'Cats have to do to win:

  • Not look ahead to Christmas. This is the last easy gift of the year. Sure, there'll be a few AAC games that aren't the most difficult, but it would be a monumental task for the Cougs to take down the 'Cats.
  • Not make stupid fouls. IF - and it's a big if - Chicago State can keep this competitive, it'll be because they're either draining crazy 3's or racking up points at the free throw line.

Only two points today. Partly cuz I'm lazy but also because the Bearcats will most definitely win this game.

My prediction: I'm looking forward to seeing basketball royalty in person on Monday. In fact, if you live in Cincinnati and want to check out the game, they're offering $7 walk-up tickets. Other than that, I don't have much of a prediction. The 'Cats were favored by 8 against MTSU and they rallied to win by 21. Even Vegas can't pin down what this team will do night-in and night-out. I'll say the Bearcats win: 71-54