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Defense To Offense In A Flash

There are a couple of plays throughout the long course of a basketball season that have definitive effects. A break here or there can have a lasting effect on a team. This is one such play.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

It is just one play in a game from mid february. But it says alot about how the Bearcats approach the game, and how this team is just different than the one's that have come before in the Mick Cronin era. The first UConn game was getting away from the Bearcats at the point that this play happened. The Bearcats couldn't break down the first line of defense, they couldn't get any easy baskets and they couldn't stop UConn. It was going to be a double digit loss if something didn't change, and then Justin Jackson and Sean Kilpatrick flipped the momentum completely.

After Justin Jackson swatted Lassan Kromah's attempted layup. The Bearcats went on a 22-12 run that made a five point deficit become a five point win. But it wasn't just the block, Justin Jackson has had hundreds of those blocks, its what happened afterward. Sean Kilpatrick beat Ryan Boatright to a 50/50 ball and proceeded to do something he hasn't done much in Cincinnati, he dunked it with authority and the crowd at Fifth Third lost its mind.

The Bearcats are a trendy pick to fall victim to an upset in this tournament. The reasoning is clear to see, the offense is stagnant, oftentimes it seems that everyone other than Sean Kilpatrick is terrified to shoot, and these Bearcats never get easy buckets. What the prognosticators miss is that there is no one else in this tournament like UC when they turn it up to 11 on defense. When they get there the defense creates plenty of easy looks and points for the offense. The play above is a pretty good example of that.