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Layup Line: East Carolina, Again

After a 21 point victory earlier in the season, the Bearcats and Pirates are at it again. Can the 'Cats make it five in a row this season - on the road?

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The 2014-15 basketball season has been a fun one in Clifton, right? It seems like the Cincinnati Bearcats are beginning to gel and find a bit of depth. Had you told me Octavius Ellis would play 21 minutes against UConn and only score 4 points, I would have guaranteed the Huskies would have won. Yet, UC dominated that game from start to finish.

And that makes today's contest against the East Carolina Pirates that much more important. A loss to a team that sits 1-6 in the American would be a step backwards - regardless of where this game's played.

  • Game: Sunday, February 1 @ 1:00pm ET
  • Location: Williams Arena; Greenville, NC
  • TV/Radio: CBS Sports Network; 700 WLW

The Pirates have improved, though. They gave Tulsa quite the scare at home just the other day. And given the Bearcats recent road games, the Pirates are capable of knocking UC off in North Carolina. ECU still sports 3 starters that all average over 30 minutes a game while all scoring in the double digits.

A victory on Sunday, and the Bearcats could see a few votes thrown their way for the Top 25. That's an awesome sentence to type this year - and one I never dreamed of in October.

What the 'Cats have to do to win:

  • Guard the 3-point line. Want to hear a crazy stat? The Pirates have made more than 10 treys in each of their last 3 games.
  • Protect the ball. ECU is 9th in the AAC in steals per game. So as long as the Bearcats don't allow an inordinate amount of turnovers, we'll all feel better this afternoon.

This one'll be close early - and then the Bearcats will pull away. Enjoy a crave case, some wings, a few beers, and the rest of super Sunday. Cincinnati wins 62-51.