The All-Time Favorite Cincinnati Bearcat Basketball Player Tournament is officially down to 32 remaining contestants. We revealed the results of the Ed Jucker and Gale Catlett region first rounds yesterday and the outcome from the Bob Huggins region earlier today. Now the voting has closed in the Mick Cronin region, meaning we can get the second round started. Before we do, let’s go over the results of the last region.
No. 1 Sean Kilpatrick defeats No. 16 Eddie Lee
So far, only Oscar Robertson, Kenyon Martin and Nick Van Exel have accumulated a perfect victory with 100 percent of the vote. Kilpatrick did not join their company, although his 97.7 percent is obviously still a dominant victory. That’s what happens when you’re an All-American and you face off against a two-time second-team All-Metro player, I suppose.
No. 8 Dion Dixon defeats No. 9 Levertis Robinson
There have been a number of point guards who have done quite well in this tournament. Guys like Troy Caupain, Cashmere Wright and Van Exel have all coasted into the second round. The same goes for Dixon, who got 77.3 percent of this matchup’s vote. As the No. 24 scorer in UC history, Dixon actually ranks below Robinson (No. 20), but Dixon is tied for third in all-time games played and was a team captain in 2011-12.
No. 4 Pat Cummings defeats No. 13 Connie Dierking
This was the closest vote of this portion of the bracket, with Cummings coming away with a 60/40 split. A legend from the late 70s, Cummings was a first-team all-conference selection in 1978 and 1979 and is seventh in all-time scoring for Cincinnati. Dierking was an all-conference talent as well, but just missed advancing.
No. 5 Pete Mickeal defeats No. 12 Tom Thacker
I took a peak at the voting early on and Thacker actually pulled ahead at one point. However, Mickeal rallied his base and ended up winning with 72.1 percent of the vote. The third-team All-American might have even be a higher seed if he hadn’t played with Kenyon Martin, who casted a long shadow. Thacker was a first-team All-America and two-time national champ, but the passage of time appears to have faded his standing. Just remember that Thacker was really, really good, even if he won’t be moving on.
No. 2 Steve Logan defeats No. 15 Tony Yates
With 88.6 percent of the vote, Logan moves on easily. His 2002 season obviously has a lot to do with that. Logan was a consensus All-American that year, scoring 22 points and handing out 5.3 assists per game for a 31-4 Bearcats squad. Yates, like Thacker, played for national championship teams but suffered from being a throwback.
No. 10 Gary Clark defeats No. 7 Herb Jones
Gary Clark was a problem for Herb Jones. A 75 percent to 25 percent win for Clark.
No. 3 Jason Maxiell defeats No. 14 Robert Miller
Maxiell moves on with a No. 1-seed-like victory, claiming 95.5 percent of the vote. Once again, recency bias carried the victor, but Maxiell’s advancement has got to do with recognition as much as his ability on the floor, especially as a shot blocker. Plus he’s No. 13 in all-time scoring, putting him one spot ahead of Miller.
No. 6 Deonta Vaughn defeats No. 11 Art Long
This was another blowout, with Vaughn earning 95.5 percent of the vote as well. The No. 4 scorer in UC history will be tough to beat as he poured in 4,310 minutes as a Bearcat, second-most to Kilpatrick in program history. Long could rebound and defend but he didn’t put in as much time.
You’ve seen the results, now see the bracket with updated matchups. Matchups that we will dissect below.
No. 1 Sean Kilpatrick vs. No. 8 Dion Dixon
These two were actually teammates for two years. Although they were both scoring guards, Kilpatrick had the more storied career and was certainly the preferred scoring option when the two were teammates. Will he be the preferred player overall? That’s for you to decide.
No. 4 Pat Cummings vs. No. 5 Pete Mickeal
On one side is a great scorer from the 70s and on the other is a strong defender who performed well on the glass. If Cronin himself were picking, we know who’d win, but he isn’t the one that gets to make the decision. (At least not by himself, since his vote counts the same as anyone else’s in this instance).
No. 2 Steve Logan vs. No. 10 Gary Clark
Will Gary Clark be a problem for Logan?
No. 3 Jason Maxiell vs. No. 6 Deonta Vaughn
Vaughn averaged in double figures in all four years he was in college and he was a consistent three-point threat. Maxiell scored in double figures in three seasons but only had two-made triples in his career. However, he easily has the edge in rebounds and blocks. So, what will the public go for? Points and threes or rebounds and blocks (and some points).
There you have it. Now start punching those ballots.