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Game Preview: No. 18 UC Bearcats at UConn Huskies

The last game of the regular season is upon us, and the Bearcats will look to take down conference rival UConn to sweep the season series. 

NCAA Basketball: Connecticut at Cincinnati David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Its the end of the regular season line on Sunday, as the No. 18 Cincinnati Bearcats wrap things up with a battle against the UConn Huskies at Gampel Pavilion.

Good Bye (For Now) Fifth Third

The Bearcats are coming off an 18-point victory over Houston in their final game at Fifth Third Arena before renovations. UC had control of the ball game from tip off to the final whistle and everything in between. Fifth Third will certainly be missed next year as the Bearcats will play at Northern Kentucky University while renovations are being done, but the big win against Houston was a great way to close it out and on Sunday afternoon, the Bearcats will look to close out the regular season in similar fashion.

Get to Know the Opponent

There is no nice way to put this, so I’ll just say it; the UConn Huskies have been a very bad team this year. The Huskies enter Sunday’s game with a 14-15 record overall and are 9-8 in conference play. UConn lost Terry Larrier to a torn ACL and everything seemed to go downhill from there. The only true playmakers on UConn’s team are Jalen Adams, who averages 14.5 points per game, and Rodney Purvis, who averages 13.2 per game.

The last time this team's linked up on the hardwood, Purvis and Adams collectively scored 28 points and still lost the game by 14. As inconsistent and downright ugly as this UConn team has played this year, do not be surprised if the Huskies come out swinging hay-makers. UConn knows that its season is likely over, but it is not going to roll over to anybody in the conference, especially UC.

The Final Game

Everything the Bearcats have done this season, leads up to Sunday’s battle with UConn. This is the last time that UC plays just a regular game this season, because from here on out, it’s one-and-done rules. After Sunday’s game, nothing is guaranteed going forward for the Bearcats. UC has got show up big against UConn to prove to itself and everybody in the country that it is ready for postseason play.

I think that the Bearcats walk into Gampel Pavilion tomorrow afternoon and are greeted with a defensive battle, which I believe they will win. I don’t think tomorrow’s game will come easy, but this UC team has proven that they are ready for crunch time. Outside of one missed alley oop at the buzzer against UCF, the Bearcats have been amazing at closing out close games this season, and I don't see that changing going forward.