Men's Basketball to Face Rutgers in First Round of BIG EAST Championship

GOBEARCATSDOTCOM
GOBEARCATSDOTCOM

GOBEARCATSDOTCOM
Men's Basketball |

March 6, 2010

Printable 2010 BIG EAST Men's Basketball Championship Bracket

2010 BIG EAST Men's Basketball Championship Central

 

 

Game 31: BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP

Tuesday, March 9 | 9 p.m. | Madison Square Garden (19,763) | New York, N.Y. | TV: ESPNU | Radio: 700 WLW


 

 

 

THE MATCH-UP

The Cincinnati Bearcats (16-14, 7-11 BIG EAST), the No. 11-seed in the BIG EAST Championship, open postseason play vs. Rutgers (15-16, 5-13 BIG EAST), the No. 14 seed on Tuesday, March 9 at 9 p.m. EST. The Bearcats come into the BIG EAST Championship losing five of its last six games, including their last three in a row to nationally-ranked teams (West Virginia, Villanova, Georgetown). Cincinnati will look to the hot hand of freshman Lance Stephenson, who is averaging 16.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game over his last four contests, to help get the Bearcats back on track. Rutgers, which has lost four of its last five and two in a row, is coming off an 83-54 loss at No. 17/18 Pittsburgh on the final day of the regular season. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU with Sean McDonough (play-by-play), Jay Bilas (analyst) and Bill Raftery (analyst) on the call. Dan Hoard (pxp) and Chuck Machock (analyst) will call the game on 700 WLW.

 

THE SERIES

Tuesday’s game will be the 14th meeting between Cincinnati and Rutgers and the seventh since UC joined the BIG EAST Conference.  The Bearcats hold a 10-3 lead in the series, which began in 1971-72.  The Bearcats have won the last three meetings and earlier this season took a 65-58 decision in New Brunswick, N.J., on Jan. 2. Senior guard Deonta Vaughn led the Bearcats in scoring with 17 points and is UC’s leading active scorer vs. the Scarlet Knights, averaging 19.5 points per game.

 

SCOUTING THE SCARLET KNIGHTS

·         Rutgers is 15-16 overall and finished 14th in the BIG EAST Conference with a 5-13 record.

·         The Scarlet Knights have lost four of their last five games, including a 83-54 decision at Pittsburgh last Saturday (March 6) on the last day of the regular season.

·         Rutgers is ranked 14th overall in the BIG EAST, averaging 67.5 points per game with two players averaging in double figures.

·         Sophomore guard Mike Rosario leads the team and is 11th in the BIG EAST with a 16.3 points per game average.

·         Redshirt junior forward Jonathan Mitchell is the other Scarlet Knight scoring in double figures at 11.7 points per game.

·         Rutgers, despite having three player averaging six or more rebounds per game, is 15th in the BIG EAST in rebounding margin (-2.5 rpg).

·         Senior center Hamady Ndiaye leads the team in rebounding with 7.1 per game, followed by freshman Dane Miller and Mitchell who are tied at 6.0 boards per game.

·         Ndiaye also brings a shot blocking presence to the floor for Rutgers, averaging 4.6 blocks per game - over half of team’s per game average (7.1). Ndiaye is third in the country in blocked shots and as a team, Rutgers is ranked sixth.

·         RU allows its opponents 71.8 points per game, which ranks 13th overall in the league.

·         Opponents are shooting 43.1 percent from the field and 33.8 percent from behind the 3-point line vs. the Scarlet Knights.

 

CURRENT BEARCATS VS. RUTGERS

·         Senior guard Deonta Vaughn is the only current Bearcat averaging in double figures vs. Rutgers. Vaughn has posted 19.5 ppg in four career games vs. the Scarlett Knights. His single-game high vs. RU came in 2008-09 when he scored 24 points as UC rallied from a 16-point first-half deficit for a 71-59 victory.

·         Vaughn is 10-for-21 (.476) from 3-point range vs. Rutgers in four career starts.

·         Freshman Lance Stephenson scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds at Rutgers on Jan. 2, his first game in the New York City area since coming to UC.

·         Sophomore Yancy Gates has 10 rebounds in two games vs. Rutgers, including eight earlier this season.

 

UC GARDEN MEMORIES

·         UC is are 18-16 overall in Madison Square Garden.

      14-9 at the Garden that stood at Eighth Ave. between 49th and 50th and was in use between 1925 and 1968.

      4-7 at the current facility located on Seventh Ave. between 31st and 33rd.

·         UC played its first game in Madison Square Garden on February 23, 1950 and defeated No. 10-ranked Long Island University, 83-65.

·         On Jan. 9, 1958, Oscar Robertson scored 56 of Cincinnati’s 118 points against Seton Hall in Madison Square Garden as a sophomore, single-handedly outscoring the Pirates (54 points).­ Robertson recorded another 50-point game against Iowa as a senior at MSG. 

·         As a team, the Bearcats won the Holiday Festival Tournament in the Garden in 1959 and 1961 and captured third-place in the 1955 NIT.

·         During one of UC’s games at the Garden in 1952, the play of the Bearcats caught the eye of a high school athlete from Brooklyn named Sandy Koufax.  Koufax ended up attending UC on a basketball scholarship where he played freshmen basketball and then baseball.  He was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers while attending UC in 1953-54 and went on to have a Hall of Fame career as one of baseball’s all-time great pitchers.


POSTSEASON EXPERIENCE

·         Playing in just its fifth season in the BIG EAST Conference, Cincinnati returns to Madison Square Garden for the fourth time to play in the BIG EAST Championship.

·         The Bearcats are 0-3 in the BIG EAST Championship, losing to Syracuse, 74-73, in 2006, to Pittsburgh, the eventual tournament champion, 70-64, in 2007-08, and to DePaul in the first round, 67-57, last year.

·         Junior guard Deonta Vaughn finished with 30 points in his Madison Square Garden debut in 2007-08 vs. Pittsburgh, and at one point scored 20 straight for UC over a more than 10-minute stretch in the second half.

·         UC head coach Mick Cronin has plenty of postseason experience as he coached in three straight Ohio Valley Conference Tournaments, winning titles in 2004 and 2006 and advancing to the NCAA Tournament. His all-time record is 6-3 in conference tournaments.

 

MARCH 2 —GEORGETOWN GAME NOTES

·         Cincinnati has lost its last three games to nationally-ranked teams (West Virginia, Villanova, Georgetown), its longest losing streak of the season. UC lost two in a row three other times this season.

·         After the Bearcats cut Georgetown’s lead to 41-35 with 16:13 left in the game, the Hoyas went on a 31-6 run over the next 13:01 to secure the win. Freshman Lance Stephenson scored all six UC points during the run.

·         UC’s 47 points equaled its lowest point total in a game this season (47 at UAB, Dec. 16).

·         After committing a combined 19 turnovers in its last two games, the Bearcats turned it over 16 times vs. Georgetown, leading to 22 points off turnovers by the Hoyas.

·         Cincinnati was outrebounded by Georgetown, 40-28. The -12 rebounding margin is the second-largest vs. UC this season (-13 at UAB, Dec. 16).

·         UC was limited to 38.8 percent (19-of-49) shooting in the game, including 2-for-10 from behind the 3-point line.

·         After converting 27-of-36 (.750) combined free throws in its last two games, Cincinnati was 7-of-17 (.412) at Georgetown.

·         Freshman Lance Stephenson scored eight of UC’s first nine points of the game en route to 10 first half points. Stephenson has scored in double-figures in each of his last four games.

·         Stephenson finished with a season-high 23 points on 11-of-17 shooting. He also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.

·         Junior forward Ibrahima Thomas made a career high four steals vs. the Hoyas and equaled his career-high with three blocked shots. He also finished with five points and four rebounds.

 

STEPHENSON NAMED TO BIG EAST ALL-ROOKIE TEAM

·         University of Cincinnati freshman guard Lance Stephenson (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln) was one of two unanimous selections to the 2010 BIG EAST Conference All-Rookie team.

·         Stephenson becomes the third Bearcat to earn the distinction since UC began play in the BIG EAST in 2005-06, joining teammates Deonta Vaughn (2006-07) and Yancy Gates (2008-09).

·         The preseason BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, Stephenson led all BIG EAST freshmen in scoring in overall (12.0 ppg) and conference-only games (12.1 ppg). He also finished in the Top 5 overall in rebounds (5.3 rpg/4th), steals (1.0 spg/5th), and assists (2.4 apg/4th).

·         Four times this season, the 6-foot-5 guard from Brooklyn, N.Y., has been named BIG EAST Rookie of the Week, the most by any incoming player. He won the award the last two weeks of the regular season after averaging 16.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game over UC’s last four contests. He also added 11 assists and five steals during the stretch.

·         Along with the other four all-Rookie team selections (Alex Oriakhi, UConn; Vincent Council, Providence; Dane Miller, Rutgers; Brandon Triche, Syracuse; Maalik Wayns, Villanova), Stephenson is a candidate for BIG EAST Rookie of the Year. Rookie of the Year will be announced Tuesday between opening-round sessions at the BIG EAST Championship, along with Player of the Year, Oppenheimer Funds/BIG EAST Coach of the Year, and BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete.

 

BATTLES AT THE TOP

·         To improve in the BIG EAST standings, teams will face some of the nation’s toughest competition and many of the top team’s in the polls.

·         This season, Cincinnati battled throughout the season, looking to climb up the standings and into the national rankings, but has suffered several close set-backs along the way.

·         Of the Bearcats 14 losses, 10 have been decided by eight points or less.

·         Despite a record of 0-5 vs. the Top 5 team’s in the BIG EAST, UC lost four of the games (Villanova - 4; West Virginia - 6; Pittsburgh - 3; Marquette - 3) by a combined 16 points.

·         UC also held second-half leads in four of the games, including a six-point lead over Syracuse.

 

GETTING DOWN TO THE END

·         Over the final three weeks of the season, UC has faced three of the nation’s top 20 teams (No. 10/8 West Virginia, No. 9/9 Villanova, and No. 19/20 Georgetown).

·         UC’s final three opponents finished with a combined record of 68-21 (.764).

·         The Bearcats faced No. 8/7 West Virginia in Morgantown last Saturday and fell to the Mountaineers, 74-68.

·         In the regular-season home finale, Cincinnati battled back from down double digits in the second half, but came up short vs. Villanova, 77-73.

·         The Hoyas broke open a close game in the second half and cruised to a 74-47 win over the Bearcats in the regular-season finale on March 6.

 

RESUME BUILDING — UC VS. RANKED OPPONENTS

·         The Bearcats are ranked No. 63 in the RPI (as of March 6) thanks to having the nation’s 12th toughest schedule, which includes 13 teams in the RPI Top 50.

·         UC is 3-5 vs. teams ranked in the AP Poll this season after knocking off No. 24/24 Vanderbilt and No. 21/22 Maryland in the first and second rounds of the 2009 EA Sports Maui Invitational, respectively, and No. 10/10 Connecticut at home on Dec. 30. The losses were to No. 23 Pittsburgh, 74-71, on Jan. 4 (Cincinnati’s first loss at home this season), to No. 3 Syracuse, 71-54, on Feb. 7, No. 8 West Virginia, 74-68, on Feb. 27, No. 9 Villanova, 77-73, on March 2 and No. 19 Georgetown on March 6, 74-47.

·         Cincinnati is 114-173 (.397) all-time vs. opponents ranked in the Associated Press Top 25, including a 23-23 (.500) record in Fifth Third Arena.

·         The wins vs. Vanderbilt and Maryland marked the first time since the 1999-00 season that Cincinnati defeated ranked opponents in consecutive games. That year, UC defeated No. 25 Gonzaga 75-68 on Dec. 4, 1999, before defeating No. 7 North Carolina 77-68 on Dec. 8, 1999.

·         UC is 6-21 vs. ranked opponents under Cronin.

 

TOUGH TIMES ON THE ROAD

·         The Bearcats are 2-9 in away games this season and have a record of 9-36 (.200) in road games under Mick Cronin.

·         Both of Cincinnati’s road wins have come in conference play. The first road win of the season came at Rutgers on Jan. 2, knocking off the Scarlet Knights, 65-58. It was UC’s  first road win since Feb. 7 of last year when the Bearcats beat Georgetown, 64-62, in overtime at the Verizon Center.

·         The second road win of the season came against Connecticut on Feb. 13, when UC defeated UConn, 60-48 in Hartford.

·         UC has shot 40.0 percent and averaged 61.3 points per game on the road this season compared to 48.0 percent shooting and 75.8 points in Fifth Third Arena.

·         Cincinnati’s 3-point shooting struggles the most on the road as the Bearcats are converting just 52-of-201 (.259) treys away from home, compared to 34.0 percent at home (86-of-253).

·         Taking care of the ball is also a weakness on the road as UC is giving up 14.4 turnovers per game, compared to its season average of 13.6.

 

FIFTH THIRD ADVANTAGE

·         The Bearcats are 278-59 (.825) in games at Fifth Third Arena since the building opened in 1989-90.

·         Under Mick Cronin, UC is 41-24 in Fifth Third (.631).

·         UC is 12-4 at home and 11-4 in Fifth Third Arena this season. The Miami (OH) game is considered a home game despite being played at U.S. Bank Arena.

·         The seven consecutive wins to start the year matched the best home winning streak for the Bearcats since 2004-05, when they won nine games, spanning two seasons.

·         The Bearcats are averaging 75.5 points per game at home led by Lance Stephenson’s 11.8 points per game and Deonta Vaughn’s 11.3 average.

 

TALE OF THE TAPE — CONFERENCE HOME VS. AWAY

·         Cincinnati finished the BIG EAST Conference season with a record of 7-11. UC was 5-4 at home compared to 2-7 on the road in league action.

·         The Bearcats are shooting better at home (45.8 percent) than on the road (41.5 percent) in conference play.

·         UC has been turnover prone away from Fifth Third Arena with a -3.1 turnover margin on the road compared to -1.4 at home.

·         While the Bearcats are shooting better from the free throw line in road games (67.5 percent) than in home games (56.8 percent), UC has been able to get to the free throw line 22.1 times per game at home compared to 17.1 times on the road. Cincinnati is 9-1 on the season and 4-1 in conference play when shooting more free throws than its opponents. The lone loss came in the regular-season finale at Georgetown where UC was 7-of-17 from the line compared to 12-of-14 by the Hoyas.

 

NEEDING TO FIND CONSISTENCY

·         After going 3-8 in its last 11 games, one thing the Bearcats need to find is consistency.

·         In the win over Providence, the UC offense posted its second-highest point total of year in the 92-88 victory, shooing 57.1 percent from the field.

·         In the eight losses, the same UC offense has strung together just 62.5 points per game on 41.0 percent shooting.

·         The Bearcats 47 points in the regular-season finale at Georgetown equaled its season low (47 at UAB).

·         Defensively, UC has been solid most of the season, limiting opponents to an average of 66.5 points per contest on 41.1 percent from the field. That number has jumped considerably in the last 11 games as opponents are averaging 72.4 points on 45.0 percent shooting.

·         UC’s defense returned to its early-season form against Connecticut on Feb. 13 as the Bearcats held the Huskies to 48 points. The 48 points are the fewest points allowed by UC this season.

·         Throughout the season, UC has been one of the nation’s top rebounding teams averaging 38.8 rebounds per game and a +6.1 rebounding margin, but in the last 11 games, UC averaged just 34.9 boards per game while its opponents grabbed 33.2 rebounds per game — a +1.7 rebounding margin for UC.

·         The Bearcats dominated the glass against UConn  and DePaul, outrebounding them 46-32 and 47-31, respectively. UC is 7-1 on the season when grabbing 45-plus rebounds in a game.

 

 

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Gunner Kiel impresses at UC football's spring game

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Youthful UC can make its own history next season

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    UC's defense makes statement in latest scrimmage

    FanIQ.com

    Remember Gunner Kiel? He's Ready to Dominate

    SportsIllustrated.com

    Hank Hughes Q&A

    New York Times

    Growing as a Player, Beaming as a Father

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    NCAA Tournament is 'Cincinnati vs. the world'

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Kiel comes out strong in Bearcats' spring scrimmage

    Sporting News

    2013-14 Men's Basketball All-Americans

    Fox Sports

    Cincinnati made me a believer

    CBS Sports.com

    Former redshirt Sean Kilpatrick finishing out historic career

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Q&A with UC AD Mike Bohn

    ESPN

    Brennan's Wooden Watch: Week 14

    MLSSoccer.com

    Fit and healthy, Omar Cummings offering a new dynamic up top for Houston Dynamo

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Men's soccer signee Clark named Gatorade Ohio player of the year

    ESPN

    Munchie Legaux and Shaq Washington gain extra year

    Denver Post

    Mike Bohn eager to point Cincinnati Bearcats in right direction as AD

    The Washington Post

    No. 7 Bearcats have highest ranking in 10 years

    Yahoo! Sports

    How Sean Kilpatrick willed UC past Louisville and back into the nation's consciousness

    SI.com

    Cincinnati takes over AAC with win at Louisville

    ESPN.com

    Tough Bearcats don't get rattled

    ESPN.com

    UC staves off Temple to stay perfect in AAC

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    UC looks to 15-year sports admin vet Reed-Francois for interim AD

    CBS Sports

    No. 15 Cincinnati stomps UCF, wins 11th straight

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats take down USF 61-54, win 10th straight

    USA Today

    Why Cincinnati is not a team to sleep on

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Short-handed Bearcats cautious about ranking

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    UC's goal: win them all at home

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Cronin: Not easy, but Cats got through fatigue

    The News Record

    What you missed in UC sports during break

    FB Schedules

    Boise State, Cincinnati Schedules 2019, 20 Home-and-Home Series

    Forbes

    The Best and Worst College Football Teams for the Money

    USA Today

    Report: Colleges doing poorly at hiring women coaches

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Randolph named AAC Player of the Week

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    UC women's basketball knocks off Ohio State

    Bleacher Report

    Belk Bowl 2013: Cincinnati-North Carolina

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Belk Bowl: UC vs. UNC

    ESPN

    Belk Bowl Breakdown

    BelkBowl.com

    The Showdown is Set

    ESPN

    Cards, Bearcats set for defensive battle

    CBS Sports

    Louisville-Cincinnati Preview

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Thursday is UC's fight for perception

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Don't let UC's next opponent fool you

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    UC jumps to No. 23 in USA Today football poll

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats break into USA Today Top 25

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    McKay turns in monster game against Rutgers

    ESPN

    Kay throws for 408 yards, 4 TDs as Cincinnati routs Rutgers

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats won't lessen the pressure

    News & Record

    Pressure takes toll on NC State against Cincinnati

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats face variety of bowl scenarios

    The News Record

    UC weary of SMU's aerial attack ahead of AAC clash

    Bleacher Report

    Best College Football Moments in Cincinnati History

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Mark Barr returns to UC, gets ovation

    HoustonDynamo.com

    After frustrating year, Omar Cummings puts Houston Dynamo on his back with clutch playoff goal

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    UC's Shaq Thomas 'our version of Herb Jones'

    USA Today

    Cincinnati holds off Memphis for third straight

    ESPN

    Cincinnati's Mark Barr out of hospital

    TopDrawer Soccer

    Furman and Cincinnati men go nose-for-nose in College Goal of the Week

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Green seizing his moment for the Bearcats

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats' Jermaine Lawrence is new breed of forward

    UC Magazine

    Hostility to Hope: Feature on Men's Soccer Player John Manga

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats' Jermiah Davis III fights to be remembered

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats' Justin Jackson goes from energizer to example

    The News Record

    Cronin excited for new group

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    UC Bearcats' Sean Kilpatrick: 'It's the season now'

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats basketball will have fresh look

    The News Record

    UC Looks to RetainVictory Bell for Eighth Consecutive Season

    Miami Herald

    Kay Ready to Lead Bearcats into Rivalry Game

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Former Bearcat Thompkins making most of shot in NFL

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    New practice setup could benefit UC basketball

    ESPN.com

    Munchie Legaux out for season

    ESPN.com

    Cincinnati Rolls Past Purdue

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats defense puts up dominant effort

    American Athletic Conference

    2013 Team Previews: Cincinnati Bearcats

    Sports Illustrated

    Bowl projections: Cincinnati vs. North Carolina in the Russell Athletic Bowl

    Cincinnati Business Courier

    Bearcats sell out football opener against Purdue

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Depth at defensive line still strong for Bearcats

    Bleacher Report

    Cincinnati Bearcats Football 2013 Team Preview

    UC Voted 2nd

    Coach Tuberville and his players discuss their reactions to being voted to finish 2nd in the inaugural season of the American Athletic Conference

    QB Timetable

    Coach Tuberville discusses his timetable to choose a starting QB with The Cincinnati Enquirer

    Thompkins at Patriots' Training Camp

    Former UC wide receiver, Kenbrell Thompkins, impressed many at Patriots' training camp 

    World University Games

    Sean Kilpatrick talks about his experience overseas

    World University Games

    Sean Kilpatrick talks about his experience overseas 

    Nippert Renovation Plan

    The Cincinnati Enquirer looks at the Nippert Stadium Project

    Cincinnati football's 'Crocodile Dundee'

    A former professional rugby player from Australia joins the Bearcat football team

    2013 Preseason 'Watch List' 

    Several Cincinnati Bearcats make 2013 national 'watch list'

    Sports Insider Today

    Young Cincinnati Team Looks to Improve in 2013 Amidst New Conference Setting

    ESPN Blog

    Cincinnati to play Pitt in December

    GoBEARCATS.com

    Former Bearcat Herman Qualifies for U.S. Open

    USA Today

    BearcatsTV Gets National Attention from USA Today's For the Win

    SportingNews.com

    Cincinnati Bearcats Baseball Earns Top Honors in Videobombing

    The Washington Post

    Cincinnati Bearcats Do the Best Postgame Interviews

    Fox Sports

    Bearcats Rock Postgame Interviews

    Philly.com

    Cincinnati Bearcats Revolutionize the Post Game Interview

    YardBarker

    You'll love this Cincinnati Bearcats Post Game Funny Business Compilation

    Philly.com

    Those guys having all the fun: An oral history of the Cincinnati baseball team's videobombs

    MSN Now

    This college baseball team wins the 'best interview' award

    ESPN.com

    Winn, Cincinnati run over Pittsburgh

    Cincinnati.com Bearcats Blog

    Cincinnati looks to sophomore RB Ralph Abernathy to increase production