Feb. 27, 2014
WatchESPN | Cincinnati Game Notes | Cronin Thursday Media Availability
The 11th-ranked University of Cincinnati men's basketball team travels to the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., to face UConn on Saturday. The game tips at Noon ET and will be broadcast on ESPN and 700 WLW.
Cincinnati (24-4, 13-2 American) is coming off a 58-57 closing-seconds loss to Louisville on Feb. 22. A jumper by Louisville's Russ Smith with 2.2 seconds left handed the Bearcats their first loss in 18 home games this season. UC's Sean Kilpatrick scored a game-high 28 points and became only the second player in school history to eclipse 2,000 career points, joining the legendary Oscar Robertson. Justin Jackson added eight points and seven rebounds. Titus Rubles pulled down a career-high 14 rebounds.
UConn (22-6, 10-5 American) rallied from a six-point halftime deficit to post a 61-56 win at USF on Wednesday. Shabazz Napier scored a game-high 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting to go with seven assists. Ryan Boatright added 14 points while Niels Giffey had 11 points.
UConn owns an 8-5 lead in the series overall, including a 1-0 lead in Hartford. The Huskies earned a 73-66 overtime win at the XL Center last season on Feb. 21. The Bearcats posted a 63-58 win over UConn at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati last month on Feb. 6.
UC returns to Cincinnati for its home finale on March 6 against Memphis. Fans can purchase tickets at GoBEARCATS.com/tickets or by calling 1-877-CATS-TIX.
Game at a Glance
Series Info: 14th meeting; UConn leads 8-5 overall; UConn leads 1-0 in Hartford; Series is tied 2-2 in Storrs; Series tied 3-3 in Cincinnati; UConn leads 2-0 at neutral sites.
Current Streak: Cincinnati - 2
Last Meeting: Cincinnati won 63-58 at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati on Feb. 6, 2014.
Coaches: Mick Cronin is in his eighth season at Cincinnati (159-104); 11th season overall (228-128). Kevin Ollie is in his second season at UConn (42-16); second season overall (42-16).
Rankings: Cincinnati is ranked No. 11 in the AP poll and No. 12 in the USA Today poll.
UConn is receiving votes in both polls.
Radio: 700 WLW-AM; Dan Hoard provides play-by-play with color analyst Chuck Machock.
TV: ESPN; Mike Patrick provides play-by-play with color analyst Len Elmore.
UC Twitter Page: @GoBEARCATS
- Cincinnati is off to its best start overall (24-4) and in conference play (13-2) in Mick Cronin's eight-year tenure as head coach.
- The Bearcats are off to their best start since the 2001-02 squad began 26-3 en route to finishing 31-4 overall - the school record for wins in a season.
- A win over the Huskies on Saturday would give the Bearcats as many as 14 conference wins in a season for only the fourth time in school history (16-0 in 1999-2000; 14-2 in 1997-98 and 14-2 in 2001-02). UC has won as many as 13 league games seven times (including 2013-14).
- Sean Kilpatrick was named a finalist for the Oscar Robertson Trophy while head coach Mick Cronin was named a finalist for the Henry Iba National Coach of the Year Award the USBWA announced on Thursday.
- Kilpatrick leads the American in scoring (20.5 points) and three-pointers made (2.8 per game) and ranks fifth in free-throw shooting (85.1 percent). He has led UC in scoring in each of the last 14 games and in 25 of 28 contests this season. He has been the game's top scorer in each of the last seven contests and in 12 of 15 league games.
- Kilpatrick needs two three-pointers to become only the third player in program history with 300 or more career three-pointers (Deonta Vaughn 313/2007-10 and Darnell Burton 306/1994-97).
- Justin Jackson entered the week ranked eighth in the nation in total blocks (85). He ranks among the American's leaders in five categories: blocks (first at 3.1), offensive rebounds (second at 3.2), field-goal shooting (fifth at 57.0 percent), rebounds (t-fourth at 7.0) and steals (seventh at 1.7).
- Titus Rubles ranks sixth in rebounding since the start of league play (7.0 per game). He grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds against Louisville on Feb. 22.