Since the Wichita State Shockers entered the American Athletic Conference, it was clear that the first time the Cincinnati Bearcats faced them, it was going to be a spectacle. That spectacle has arrived, and although it might not be coming with a top-10 matchup like it could have, its still a major contest in the AAC title chase.
- Tipoff: 4 p.m. ET
- Television: ESPN
- Announcing crew: Kevin Brown (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (analyst)
- Radio: 700 WLW
- Announcing crew: Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Terry Nelson (analyst)
- Series history: We know Wichita State as the former bully in the Missouri Valley Conference, but the Bearcats used to be in that league as well. Granted, it was back in the 60s, but that still made them rivals with the Shockers. All-time, UC is 18-11 against Wichita State.
Cincinnati (23-3, 12-1 AAC) wasn’t considered the better team by the national pundits in this contest a few months ago. But thanks to a 16-game winning streak, the Bearcars skyrocketed up the national rankings to No. 5. That fancy winning streak went out the window on Thursday as the ‘Cats struggled offensively in losing on the road to Houston. However, they still have another winning streak to keep them company, as they’ve won 39-straight games at home. Getting that streak to 40 is more important than ever. Here are your starters.
- Justin Jenifer (G) - 119.8 offensive rating/93.3 defensive rating
- Jarron Cumberland (G) - 107.9/87.4
- Jacob Evans (G/F) - 120.8/85.6
- Gary Clark (F) - 133.5/78.41
- Kyle Washington (F) - 18.104.22.168
As for the Shockers (20-5, 10-3), they have not had the powerhouse season they were pegged for, but that does not mean they haven’t been very good. They have been. They’ve won three-straight games and are in range of the AAC lead, even if they aren’t ranked No. 3 like they were in early December. Here are their starters from their last game.
- Landry Shamet (G) - 132.0/102.9
- Austin Reaves (G) - 128.9/100.0
- Shaquille Morris (C) - 121.0/95.6
- Zach Brown (F)- 115.9/100.2
- Rashard Kelly (F) - 116.8/97.4