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Cincinnati Breaks Into AP Top 25 for First Time This Season

Seven-straight wins have boosted the Bearcats into the national rankings.

NCAA Basketball: Cincinnati at Temple Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

It was just one week ago we discussed how close the Cincinnati Bearcats were to entering the AP Top 25. Since that time, the Bearcats only played once and they nearly collapsed before topping the SMU Mustangs at home. But a win is a win and for the Bearcats, it marked their seventh-straight. That type of sustained success (not to mention their 19-3 overall record) was enough to finally break through, as the Bearcats are ranked 25th in the country in the most recent AP poll.

While they are clearly right on the edge of these rankings, and even a slight stumble will cast them back into the abyss, the Bearcats have earned a spot in the AP poll for the fourth-straight season. The last few years have been a bit different. UC was ranked from start to finish last season and got as high as No. 5 before finishing at No. 6. In the year before that, the Bearcats were ranked for 16 weeks and finished at No. 18. This year’s Bearcats will have plenty of chances to rise higher than their current standing, especially with two games left against Houston, which jumped to No. 12 in this week’s poll. In case you weren’t aware, the first of those matchups is this Sunday in Houston.

As for other teams of interest for the Bearcats, Mississippi State dropped out of the top 25. The Bulldogs, who beat the Bearcats earlier this season, were ranked 22nd last week. No other team on UC’s 2018-19 schedule is in this week’s rankings or even receiving votes.