The field for the All-Time Favorite Cincinnati Bearcat Basketball Player Tournament is getting smaller, as we are now halfway through the first round. We already went through the update of the Ed Jucker Region. Now its on to the Gale Catlett Region, which went all chalk but still featured the closest vote we’ve seen so far. Let’s get to the results.
No. 1 Danny Fortson defeats No. 16 Jim Holstein
Holstein got one vote. I don’t know how but he did. I’m not angry, I’m just a disappointed Danny Fortson fan who can’t believe he didn’t go 100 percent. I suppose a three-time all-conference player like Holstein doesn’t deserve to get shutout, but my own favoritism for Fortson (a two-time All-American) is still showing.
No. 8 Melvin Levett defeats No. 9 Ruben Patterson
After Rashad Bishop edged Octavius Ellis in the Ed Jucker Region, I expected a closer contest here, but Levett ran away with 78.2 percent of the vote. I guess one honorable mention All-American made more of an impression than another.
No. 4 Lloyd Batts defeats No. 13 David Kennedy
This tournament isn’t just for players from the 60s, 90s and 2000s! Batts moves on by dropping Kennedy, who also played in the 70s. Batts played earlier in the decade and had a more storied career, tallying 20 points per game in back-to-back seasons en route to ranking 11th all-time in scoring at UC and getting 83.6 percent of the vote.
No. 5 Troy Caupain defeats No. 12 Cedric Glover
Glover never had a chance. Not against the recently graduated Caupain, who is now trying to make a run at the NBA. The face of Bearcats basketball the last few years, Caupain is the all-time assists leader for the program and is a No. 5 seed to watch the rest of the tournament, as he laid the hammer down with 89.1 percent of the vote.
No. 2 Nick Van Exel defeats No. 15 Mark Dorris
I went back and forth between Van Exel and Fortson for the fourth No. 1 seed in this tournament. Perhaps I made a mistake because Van Exel got every single vote in this contest. It shows how important he was for the 1992 Final Four team.
No. 7 Bobby Brannen defeats No. 10 Tony Bobbitt
Van Exel and Dorris didn’t have much of a competition but these two did. Brannen barely squeaked forward with 53.6 percent of the vote. Brannen was a free-throw maestro and is actually one of a handful of players in program history with at least 100 career victories. He’ll get another one here after sending down the 2004 Conference USA Sixth Man of the Year.
No. 3 Field Williams defeats No. 14 Rick Roberson
Williams was not in the original bracket for this tournament, but he was added by popular demand. He continued to get support in the first round, accumulating 74.5 percent of the vote. The three-point marksman will be looking to continue riding that fan favorite status going forward.
No. 6 Cashmere Wright defeats No. 11 Damon Flint
I thought this one might be a little closer, but Wright remains a popular player in these parts, as he should. Wright received 78.6 percent of the vote in taking down the player just below him on UC’s all-time scoring list.
There were no upsets in this region during the first round, even if Bobbitt gave Brannen quite the run. Below is an updated look at the bracket.
Now its time to examine the next round before we get to voting.
No. 1 Danny Fortson vs. No. 8 Melvin Levett
Let me remind you that Fortson was a two-time All-American. That’s pretty good. But Fortson should get more of a challenge than he did in the first round, as Levett nearly made an All-American team himself and was a contemporary of Fortson himself.
No. 4 Lloyd Batts vs. No. 5 Troy Caupain
I’m calling it now. Caupain is going to win this one. Batts was a much better scorer than his opponent here, but Caupain was the heart and soul of this program for the last three years.
No. 2 Nick Van Exel vs. No. 7 Bobby Brannen
Van Exel didn’t get a scare at all in the first round. Brannen may not get shut out, but a legend like Van Exel isn’t going out in the second round.
No. 3 Field Williams vs. No. 6 Cashmere Wright
Will Williams continue to be the people’s champ? Its quite possible. He made 262 three-pointers in his career and has two of the top five individual season three-point field goal percentages in program history. However, Wright is way ahead of Williams on the all-time scoring list and has played 139 career games, the second-most in program history.
That’s it for this region. Now get out there a vote.