On Saturday night, the Cincinnati Bearcats (13-7) host the Houston Cougars (17-4) in a must-win game for the Bearcats. You can read all about Houston and their season-to-date so far ahead of this game.
These two teams know what it’s like to play must win games as they have a strong recent history playing against each other.
Highlights of the history
- Cincinnati is 32-5 all-time vs Houston in men’s basketball
- 10-4 in AAC play (Houston joined AAC before 2013-2014 season)
- 2-0 in AAC Tournament Championship Games (2018 and 2019)
- Saturday will be the first time in 5 meetings that both teams are not ranked and the first time in 9 meetings that Cincinnati is not ranked
- Houston has won 3 the last 3 regular season games vs UC
- From 1957 through 2005, Cincinnati went 22-1 against Houston. The one loss came in 1973, Houston, ranked 11, won 90-85
- Cincinnati is 16-1 at home. Their first and only loss ever in Cincinnati came in last year’s regular season finale
2-0 in AAC Championship Games
Cincinnati beat Houston to win the 2018 and 2019 conference championship games.
Cincinnati won 69-55 in 2019
After losing both regular season games to Houston, including the season finale, there were questions about whether the Bearcats could overcome the Cougars for a second straight season. They answered the call emphatically, outscoring Houston 36-27 in the second half and winning the conference championship game for the second straight season, knocking off Houston 69-57.
Jarron Cumberland lead the way with 33 points and 8 rebounds. Trevon Scott had 12 points and 8 rebounds.
Bearcats win first AAC title in 2018
One year prior, the Bearcats won their first AAC Tournament Championship, beating Houston in a thriller 56-55. Cougars upset Wichita State the day before to get to this game. A late turnover by Rob Gray doomed Houston, after a clutch three pointer by Kyle Washington.
Jarron had 8 points in 31 minutes on 3-5 shooting. Trevon Scott was a non-factor in 16 minutes, and Keith Williams played just 1 minute.
Gary Clark lead the way with 20 points and 12 rebounds and Jacob Evans had 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists.
2018-19 Regular Season Sweep
Before Cincinnati won the conference tournament championship, they went 0-2 during the regular season against Houston.
First, Cincinnati lost 65-58 in Houston. Bearcats were riding an 8 game winning streak and came into the game 20-3 ranked #25. Houston was #12 and 22-1 overall.
Jarron Cumberland led Cincinnati with 27 points on 9-25 shooting. Trevon Scott had just 3 points and 3 rebounds in 35 minutes. Keith Williams played 37 minutes and shot 4-13.
In the regular season finale, Cincinnati needed a win to get the 1 seed in the conference tournament and split the regular season championship. Houston came in 15-2 and Cincinnati was 14-3, so a win would have meant they were tied.
12th ranked Cougars were led by 31 points from Corey Davis Jr, who helped lead Houston to an 85-69 win. Houston outscored Cincinnati by 14 points in the second half and were the only team in 2018-19 to score 80+ points against the Bearcats. It was the worst home loss for Cincinnati since a 68-47 home loss to VCU in 2014.
This was the first time Cincinnati had ever lost a home game to Houston.
2017-18 Winning Streak Snapped
Cincinnati came into the game ranked #5, and 23-2 overall, riding a 16 game winning streak into Houston. Houston won 67-62.
Bearcats avenged the loss in the AAC Championship Game later that year.
Jarron Cumberland scored 14 points for Cincinnati, one of four players in double figures. Jacob Evans (16), Gary Clark (13), and Kyle Washington (10) all contributed to the scoring.
Bearcats shot 38% and 27% from three. Houston shot 48% and 41% from three.
2016 at Houston
This loss was Cincinnati’s first to Houston in AAC play. Including the years prior to the AAC, Cincinnati entered this game with a 15 game winning streak against Houston.
Damyean Dotson (current NY Knicks guard) led Houston with 13 points and 7 rebounds and Rob Gray added 13 points on 4-12 shooting.
Gary Clark had 6 points and 11 rebounds. Troy Caupain had 19 points.