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Bearcats Going Backward in National Polls

Back-to-back losses did not banish Cincinnati back to the realm of unranked teams but they didn’t help either.

NCAA Basketball: Houston at Cincinnati The Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODA

The Cincinnati Bearcats are not the regular season champions of the American Athletic Conference but they are one of the top 25 teams in the country again this week. In the updated versions of the AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches poll, the Bearcats found designated spots for themselves, although they suffered demotions in both rankings.

Starting with the AP poll, the Bearcats fell four spots to No. 24. They have now been ranked for three-straight weeks, with last week’s No. 20 position the highest they have reached all season. Houston, which won the AAC regular season title with a drubbing of the Bearcats on Sunday, only got a one-spot boost, improving to No. 11. Meanwhile, after jumping into the rankings last week and knocking off the Bearcats at home on Thursday, the UCF Knights were sent packing. Their loss to Temple on Saturday didn’t hurt that much, however, as they are receiving the most votes of any unranked team (62). The Owls are also getting some votes (four) as are the Mississippi State Bulldogs (37) who the Bearcats played and lost to in December.

The Bearcats also fell four spots in the coaches poll and are now positioned at No. 23. They reached their highest ranking of No. 19 last week. Houston climbed two spots to No. 10 and UCF, which was not ranked last week, is still receiving votes (27) on the outside. Mississippi State is just barely behind that (26 votes), but no other UC opponent from this season is in consideration.