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Bearcats Weekend Round-Up - 1/13

Latest news and notes on the Bearcats from football and men and women’s basketball.

NCAA Basketball: American Athletic Conference Tournament-Houston vs Cincinnati Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Warren II Declares for NFL Draft

Superstar running back Michael Warren, who is 6th on the all-time UC rushing list and 2nd in rushing touchdowns, announced on Friday night that we was foregoing his final year of eligibility to enter the 2020 NFL Draft. Warren becomes the first UC player to ever leave early for the draft.

While it’s obviously disappointing news to fans, it’s great news for UC. It shows the continued progress that the school has made, that we are in this position. And it’s obviously the right move for Warren, who plays at the most volatile position in football. The shelf-life for running backs is getting shorter and shorter and another dominant season at Cincinnati in 2020, likely would not have benefited his stock too greatly. He is better off going now and cash in.

More on Warren’s decision and what it means for Cincinnati in 2020.

Warren will go down as a UC legend. He was a major part of the success of the last two years, which saw Cincinnati go 22-5. His play, personality, and leadership will all be missed.

Warren had so many great moments and performances as a Bearcat. It’s impossible to list all of them, but we tried..

Top moments of Michael Warren’s career

Men’s basketball gets first road win of the season

Bearcats men’s basketball improved to 10-6 and 3-1 in conference play with a 68-54 win over UCF. The game was in Orlando and represents the first road win of the season. Cincinnati previously lost at Ohio State, Xavier, and Tulane.

More on the win

What does this win mean? Right now, not much. Bearcats just need to keep winning to stay in the hunt for a possible NCAA Tournament bid. Wichita State and Memphis both picked up key road wins on Sunday, a benefit to UC. Cincinnati’s best chance at the tournament is picking up some quad 1 victories, and that means having Memphis and Wichita playing at the highest level.

Around the AAC

While Sunday’s scores were normal, Saturday’s were not. Tulane won 65-51 at Temple. It remains to be seen how good this Temple team is, but one year after going 0-18, Tulane is now 2-2. That can not be ignored, nor can the significance of a road victory.

SMU came into Saturday 12-2 and looking to improve to 3-0 in AAC play. They lost at ECU, 71-68 showing just how good this conference is from top to bottom and how hard it is to win on the road.

Speaking of which, Houston also lost it’s first game to Tulsa. The same Tulsa team, that lost by 30 points against Cincinnati on Wednesday.

Reason for optimism

While the 2019-20 season started out rough for Cincinnati, on this week’s Podcast, the boys talk about all the reasons they remain optimistic and excited for the future.

Listen to latest Down the Drive Podcast

Women’s basketball makes it 2-0 vs UCF this weekend

Cincinnati played on ESPN2 on Sunday, a huge moment for the school and they did not disappoint. The lady Bearcats won their second straight game, beating UCF 81-64. Beating UCF, simply runs in the UC family.

Ilmar’l Thomas scored a career-high 32 points.

Clayton Trutor has the full story on Cincinnati’s 2-0 week and the week ahead

Bearcats in the NFL

Kansas City Chiefs beat Houston Texans 51-31 in a wild and crazy NFL playoffs game on Sunday. Cincinnati alum Travis Kelce is one step closer to winning a Super Bowl ring and was a huge part of the victory. Kelce caught 3 touchdown passes, all in the second quarter as part of a 51-7 run, after trailing 24-0.

For the game, Kelce finished with 10 catches and 134 yards, plus the 3 TDs, despite being questionable with a leg injury.