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Blame the Bearcats, Not the Refs for MBB Loss at UConn

Cincinnati’s 5 game winning streak is snapped as the Bearcats lose grip on first place with loss in Storrs finale.

NCAA Basketball: Cincinnati at Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

While fans spent most of Sunday refreshing BearcatJournal and twitter, the basketball team was in a battle at UConn, one they ultimately lost 72-71 in overtime.

Fans, including myself, were quick to place blame on the refs immediately after the game, as it seemed like Jarron Cumberland was fouled on the last shot of the game. But regardless of whether he was or he wasn’t and when the foul took place, this game was lost well before that play and well before overtime.

UConn had 18 offensive rebounds, which really hurt Cincinnati.

Plays like this happened throughout the game as UConn had way too many second chance points.

Second chance points plus poor shot selection throughout the game, specifically down the stretch in regulation and overtime doomed the Bearcats.

Jarron Cumberland got off to an outstanding start, recording an assist on the first 5 baskets of the game for the Bearcats and finished the game with a season-high 10 assists. But his playmaking ability wasn’t enough to cover up the fact that he hit just 1 of 11 shots and was 1-5 from three.

For the Bearcats to have success, it starts with Jarron and continues with the rest of the supporting cast. But the supporting cast will rarely carry this team to wins on their own. Especially, given the lack of support they have gotten from the bench.

Jarron’s cousin, Jaevin played 27 minutes. Beyond him, Chris McNeal, Zach Harvey, and Mamoudou Diarra each recorded 6 minutes. Given this game went 45 minutes, it’s hard to argue that the starters got gassed by the end of the game, which affected their intensity on defense and their ability to get clean looks on offense.

Trevon Scott had a monster game, with 25 points and 13 rebounds and Keith Williams added 14 points.

This was the last time the Bearcats will ever play in Storrs as conference foes and could be the last time for a long time they have to face the Huskies.

The loss snapped their 5 game overall winning streak and 8 game win streak against UConn, but they maintain a 9 game win streak against UConn in games that end in regulation.

The loss drops Cincinnati to 15-8 overall and 8-3 in conference play, a full game back of Houston for first place.

Uconn is top 75 in NET, so because this was a road game, it’s considered a quad 1 loss, so it’s not necessarily a bad loss for the Bearcats.

CBS’ Seth Davis certainly agrees, who actually has Cincinnati in his top 25.

Joe Lunardi of ESPN has Cincinnati as the last team out, leading the “last four out” group in his latest bracket on Monday morning.

Bearcats play at Houston and beyond that don’t have an overwhelming schedule. If they can win out, minus the Houston game, they should be in a good spot come Selection Sunday. They could also beat Houston, and stress less.

I still believe the Bearcats control their own destiny heading into March and just need to continue to take care of their business.