No. 15 Cincinnati Goes For Title Saturday at Rutgers

March 7, 2014

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The 15th-ranked University of Cincinnati men's basketball team can claim at least a share of the American Athletic Conference regular-season title on Saturday with a victory at Rutgers. The regular-season finale starts at Noon ET and will be broadcast on ESPNews and 700 WLW.

Cincinnati (25-5, 14-3 American) snapped a two-game losing streak with a 97-84 home win over No. 20 Memphis on Senior Night on Thursday. UC's three senior starters accounted for 71 points. American Player of the Year candidate Sean Kilpatrick poured in a season-high 34 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the field and made 10 of 11 free throws. Titus Rubles scored a career-high 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field. Justin Jackson just missed a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds to go with three steals and two blocks.

Rutgers (11-19, 5-12 American) dropped a 69-63 decision at No. 19 UConn on Wednesday. Myles Mack scored a team-high 16 points and handed out five assists. Wally Judge recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. J.J. Moore added 11 points.

The Bearcats own a 15-4 advantage in the series, including a 71-51 win earlier this season in Cincinnati on Jan. 11.

A win over Rutgers on Saturday would mark the Bearcats' first conference title since the 2003-04 campaign (Conference USA).

Game at a Glance
Series Info: 20th meeting; Cincinnati leads 15-4 overall; Cincinnati leads 4-3 in New Brunswick and 3-0 at neutral sites. Cincinnati leads 8-1 in Cincinnati.
Current Streak: Cincinnati - 3
Last Meeting: Cincinnati won 71-51 at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati on Jan. 11, 2014
Coaches: Mick Cronin is in his eighth season at Cincinnati (160-105); 11th season overall (229-129). Eddie Jordan is in his first season at Rutgers (11-19); first season overall (11-19).
Rankings: Cincinnati is ranked No. 15 in both the AP and USA Today polls. Rutgers is not ranked.
Radio: 700 WLW-AM; Dan Hoard provides play-by-play with color analyst Chuck Machock.
TV: ESPNews; John Saunders provides play-by-play with color analyst LaPhonso Ellis.  
UC Twitter Page: @GoBEARCATS

Cincinnati Storylines
-A win over Rutgers on Saturday gives Cincinnati at least a share of the American Athletic Conference regular-season crown. It would mark the Bearcats first conference title since winning Conference USA in 2003-04.
-This season's overall record (25-5) and league mark (14-3) are head coach Mick Cronin's best at UC.
-UC can match the Cronin era record for wins in a season with a victory on Saturday. The Bearcats won 26 games in 2011 and again in 2012.
-The Bearcats own their best record through 30 games since the 2001-02 season (27-3). That squad went on to set the school record for wins in a season, finishing 31-4.
-A win Thursday would give the Bearcats as many as 15 conference wins in a season for only the second time in school history (16-0 in 1999-2000). UC has compiled as many as 14 league victories for only the fourth time (14-2 in 1997-98 and 14-2 in 2001-02).
-UC's 99 wins since the start of the 2010-11 season are the most during a four-year span under Cronin and the most since the Bearcats won 102 games from 2001-2004. The school record for most wins over four consecutive seasons is 112 (1999-2002).
-Mick Cronin is a finalist for the Henry Iba National Coach of the Year Award.
-Sean Kilpatrick is a finalist for the Oscar Robertson Trophy and a semifinalist for the Naismith Trophy. He leads the American in scoring (20.8 points); is second in three-pointers made (2.7 per game) and third in free-throw percentage (85.4 percent). He has led UC in scoring in each of the last 16 games and in 27 of 30 contests this season.
-Justin Jackson entered the week ranked 16th in the nation in blocks with 86. The single-season total ranks fifth best in UC history.
-Titus Rubles is sixth in the American, averaging 7.2 rebounds in league play. He scored a career-high 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting against No. 20 Memphis.