This morning we gave you the final contenders in the Ed Jucker region of the The All-Time Favorite Cincinnati Bearcat Basketball Player Tournament. Unsurprisingly, Cincinnati Bearcats legends Oscar Robertson and Paul Hogue made it to the regional final, and now its time to find out who will make the same round in the Gale Catlett region.
While the late 50s and 60s were represented in the Ed Jucker final, the 90s are on full display in this portion of the bracket, with No. 1 seed Danny Fortson and No. 2 Nick Van Exel getting the majority of votes. Before we start discussing the merits of each, let’s explore their journey to this point.
No. 1 Danny Fortson defeats No. 5 Troy Caupain
Perhaps news that Caupain would be a teammate of a former Xavier player this summer leaked early, but no matter the reason, Fortson took down the Bearcats all-time assists leader and recent graduate with 72.7 percent of the vote. It was an interesting result considering Fortson beat out No. 8 seed Melvin Levett by just a 64 percent to 36 percent in the previous round. I suppose that means Levett was underrated. Fortson, on the other hand, has obviously been properly rated as the two-time All-American has navigated his way to the regional final.
No. 2 Nick Van Exel defeats No. 6 Cashmere Wright
Van Exel had a more dominant showing in the third round, winning by an 89 percent to 11 percent margin. However, Wright showed that Van Exel won’t just run away with this whole tournament, as he was the first opponent to get a vote against Van Exel. Of course, these guys aren’t actually opponents and we all lean in their favor overall, but as this experiment is out to prove, some players are more beloved than others. Van Exel is clearly one of those “more beloved” types thanks to his work for the 1992 Final Four team.
There you have it. A No. 1 and No. 2 seed made it. Here’s a look at the bracket as it currently stands.
No. 1 Danny Fortson vs. No. 2 Nick Van Exel
We will finally get to see if it was Van Exel and not Fortson who should have been the No. 1 seed in this region. This matchup ultimately comes down to team accomplishment vs. individual honors. Van Exel was a leader for the 1992 Final Four team, arguably the most beloved non-national title team in Bearcats history. Fortson didn’t reach a Final Four but, like I noted above, he was a two-time All-American.
Which will you choose? Well that’s for you to know and me to find out. Vote below.