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Bearcats Rally For 63-58 Win Over #22 Connecticut


Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

You want an anthem for this season? Here it is.

What else could it be? There is nothing like this UC team in this era of basketball. I love offensive basketball as much as the next guy. As a neutral I will always gravitate to the teams that play expansive and free flowing basketball. But when it comes to the Bearcats I am far from neutral. So I love everything about the way this team approaches the game.

By rights the Bearcats really had no business winning this game. They were dominated in the first half by UConn. Shabazz Napier manged to turn the best defense in the country into his own giant slalom course as the Huskies produced open look after open look in running out to a 10 point lead. For most of the half the Huskies efficiency numbers were well above average while the Bearcats looked completely inept.

The second half started much as the first half ended, with a Husky layup line. The Bearcats offense improved dramatically, but they couldn't get stops because they couldn't end possessions with rebounds. There seemed to be no way for the Bearcats get back into the game, not with the UConn lead stuck on 5 for the first 10 minutes. Then, all of a sudden, out of nowhere the game flipped, and it flipped on the play of Justin Jackson and Sean Kilpatrick.

That play flipped the momentum back in the Bearcats favor, and it would stay there for the rest of the game. It would be another five minutes before the Bearcats would take the lead for good. But that play was the spark that the Bearcats desperately needed, but seemed unlikely to come. Then it came, and you wondered just how you thought it wasn't going to come. How could it not? It will always come if you keep grindin.