The Cincinnati Bearcats are ranked No. 21 in the country by the AP and one of the highest rated teams in the American Athletic Conference by KenPom. That means they are real contenders for the AAC crown. We’ve known that since the year began, but now we will start getting real proof as the Bearcats get their league schedule going against the Memphis Tigers at BB&T Arena on Sunday.
- Tipoff: 4 p.m. ET
- Television: ESPNU
- Announcing crew: Jim Barbar (play-by-play) and Julianne Viani (analyst)
- Radio: 55 WKRC
- Announcing crew: Mo Egger (play-by-play) and Terry Nelson (analyst)
- Series history: This is one conference rivalry that actually has some juice. As former Conference USA, Metro, Missouri Valley and Great Midwest members, UC and Memphis used to square off regularly before the Bearcats moved to the Big East. In fact, with 74 all-time meetings, this is the most common opponent UC has faced among AAC teams. UC leads the all-time series 41-33. That includes an 87-74 win last year.
Cincinnati (11-2) somehow dropped in the AP poll this past week despite winning both of its games in the previous seven days. The Bearcats have now won four games in a row and are hitting the AAC slate with a metric ton of momentum. Led by Jacob Evans and Gary Clark, they rank 10th in the country according to KenPom, including a No. 6 ranking in adjusted defense.
Memphis (9-4) has gone 6-2 in the month of December, including a recent loss to LSU this past Thursday. The 71-61 defeat all came down to the second half, when the Tigers shot a measly 28.6 percent from the field. Kyvon Davenport had 17 points and 11 rebounds in the game while Jeremiah Martin netted 13 points on 4-of-14 shooting.