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The Basketball History of Cincinnati vs. UConn in the American Athletic Conference

With UConn reportedly headed back to the Big East, here is the legacy that will be left between the Bearcats and Huskies as basketball opponents in the AAC.

NCAA Basketball: AAC Tournament - Cincinnati vs Connecticut Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

When the Cincinnati Bearcats and the UConn Huskies helped start the American Athletic Conference as some of the inaugural members back in 2013, they had already played each other as conference foes before. In the six years since, they have met an additional 16 times in men’s basketball, 13 times in women’s basketball and six times in football, not to mention matchups in baseball and many other sports. As the Huskies are reportedly headed back to the Big East for their hoops and other sports, let’s take a look back at some of the history between these two programs on the hardwood as fellow members of the AAC.

Men’s Basketball

UC’s Record: 11-5

Longest Winning Streak: Seven (UC)/Three (UConn)

Average Score Differential: 8.1 points

During the past six years, the Bearcats have largely maintained a consistent pace in men’s hoops while the Huskies have gone largely in the wrong direction after stunning success. They won the national championship during their first season as members of the AAC but have made the NCAA Tournament just once since then. The Bearcats have been to the Big Dance every year since the AAC began and have won the last two conference tournament titles.

The Bearcats have not lost a game against the Huskies in men’s basketball since 2016 when the two teams collided in a quadruple overtime thriller in the league tournament that featured one of the most unbelievable buzzer beaters of all time. Unfortunately for the Bearcats, that buzzer beater went against them and they fell short after sweeping the seasons series against the Huskies. Since them, however, it has been all Bearcats, with seven-straight victories going their way against UConn, although this past year featured plenty of suspense, with the two meetings decided by six points combined.

Thanks to UC’s recent run of success, this rivalry’s time in the AAC will largely be remembered for the Bearcats’ overall dominance, UConn’s early success, particularly in the postseason, and the multitude of defensively-focused and low-scoring affairs that were the norm, particularly during the first few years.

NCAA Womens Basketball: AAC Conference Tournament-Cincinnati vs Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Women’s Basketball

Record: 0-13

Longest Winning Streak: 13 (UConn)

Average Score Differential: 47.4 points

It may not surprise you to read that the UConn women’s basketball team has completely dominated UC, never losing in 13 meetings between the two programs since the AAC got started. The Huskies have won three national titles in their time in the AAC, which is a conference they have been the champions of for six years running. While the Huskies continued to dominate, the Bearcats have slowly improved, earning a record of 24-11 this past season when they very nearly missed out on the NCAA Tournament. That improvement has not been coupled with much parity in their games against the Huskies, who they have lost to by an average score of 47.4 points per game including seven losses of 50 points or more.

However, the Bearcats seemed to finally be making some progress toward toppling the UConn juggernaut this season. Although they lost by 44 points when the two teams played in Storrs, the Bearcats put up quite a fight in Cincy, ultimately falling short in a 65-55 decision in early February. Although a loss is still a loss, the fact that the Bearcats were finally able to put a scare into the Huskies shows just how much progress the program has made. It’s just too bad that they won’t have many chances to finally end their losing streak against UConn going forward.