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The Favorite Cincinnati Bearcat Football Player Since 1997 Tournament: Butch Jones Regional Final

And the Elite Eight is set. Voting is now open for the regional final and will be until May 25 at 6 a.m.

Illinois v Cincinnati Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Congratulations. You made it to Friday. It’s time to put another week in the books as well as another round of the Favorite Cincinnati Bearcat Football Player Since 1997 Tournament. Today we move two more contenders onward following a week of voting, as two more players received enough votes to advance to the Butch Jones regional final. Here’s how the voting went.


This region had become the wide receiver region since three wideouts made it to the Sweet 16, but Connor Barwin showed that pass-catchers aren’t the only hotness. Thanks to some viral marketing of sorts, the former Bearcats defensive end absolutely rolled past Anthony McClung, winning 96.5 percent of the vote in their matchup. Meanwhile, Mardy Gilyard turned out to be the man with the antidote to the mic drop moment that Armon Binns had at his disposal.

The Final

Connor Barwin vs. Mardy Gilyard

Maybe Barwin beat McClung easily, but Gilyard is a different player. He is the only guy in school history with at least 3,000 receiving yards and 25 touchdown catches, but he also scored four times on kickoff returns and captured UC fan imaginations for four years. Barwin had a sensational 2008 season (14.5 TFL, 11.0 sacks), earning him a first-team All-Big East spot, but didn’t do much in his other three seasons before that.

It’s still anyone’s game. Vote true.