How to Watch
- Tipoff: 5 p.m. ET
- Location: XL Center Hartford, Connecticut
- Television: ESPN2
- Announcing crew: Dave O’Brien (play-by-play), Doris Burke (analyst) and Andy Katz (sideline reporter)
- Radio: 700 WLW
- Announcing crew: Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Chuck Machock (analyst)
- Series history: This should be the preeminent rivalry in the AAC and it largely has been. Even if Cincinnati rolled to easy victories in two meetings this year, UConn has ended UC’s run in the AAC tourney in each of the previous three seasons and holds a 13-10 lead in the all-time series.
Season Series Rewind
This will be the second game between these two teams in less than a week. Last Sunday, Gary Clark threw up 17 points and 14 rebounds as Cincinnati pounded UConn in a 67-47 victory. Although the Bearcats only connected on 36.4 percent of their field goal tries, they tightened up on defense and suffocated the Huskies’ own offensive efforts, as UConn managed just a 31.3 percent success rate while taking 18 fewer shots. Led by Clark, the Bearcats also dominated on the glass, winning a 44-33 edge in rebounds.
The other meeting between UC and UConn this season followed a similar route, with UC winning by a comfortable 82-68 margin. Clark was once again magnificent, scoring 20 points to go with 11 rebounds and Kyle Washington racked up 27 points and eight boards. While making 50 percent of their shots, the Bearcats outscored the Huskies, who were led by 20 points from Rodney Purvis, both in the paint (26-18) and off of turnovers (16-9).
How We Got Here
After resting during the first round, UC got into the action yesterday against No. 7 seed Tulsa. The second seed Bearcats made quick work of the Golden Hurricane, running away with an 80-61 decision. Washington had 21 points, Jacob Evans had 20 and Troy Caupain played exceptionally well, scoring (15 points), rebounding (team-high seven boards) and facilitating (team-high six assists). UC’s tenacity really outdid Tulsa, as the Bearcats had a 19-5 advantage in second chance points, completely dampening any upset hopes the Golden Hurricane may have had.
As for the Huskies, they have once again shown that March is where they shine. As the No. 6 seed, they played on day one of the tournament and took care of USF 77-66. Then, in yesterday’s quarterfinals, they may have just burst Houston’s bubble, as they upset the No. 3 seed and NCAA Tournament hopeful Cougars 74-65. Jalen Adams (remember him?) scored 23 points as UConn shot its way into the semis with an efficient 54.5 percent shooting night.
As the second half of today’s semifinal doubleheader, UC and UConn will already know who awaits in the AAC title game on Sunday. Either No. 1 seed SMU or No. 4 seed UCF. The winner of each contest will get a chance to battle for the AAC crown just a few hours before those NCAA Tournament brackets get set.