March 11, 2012
Coach Cronin Interview | UC Player Reaction | Bracket
CINCINNATI - Forty-nine years or 17,886 days will have passed between meetings for the University of Cincinnati and the University of Texas men's basketball squads when they square off Friday in the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship in Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.
The NCAA East Region game will tip at 12:15 p.m. ET and be televised CBS. The winner will play the victor between Florida State and St. Bonaventure, the other two East Region teams in Nashville, on Sunday at a time to be announced. Ian Eagle (play-by-play) and Jim Spanarkel (analyst), along with courtside reporter Lewis Johnson, a former UC All-American in track, will handle the call
Sixth-seeded UC (24-10) and No. 11 seed Texas (20-13) have met once previously on the hardwood, in the 1963 NCAA Championship. UC and Texas squared off for the only time in the NCAA Midwest Regional on March 15, 1963 in Lawrence, Kan. UC earned a 73-68 victory. UC advanced to the Final Four that season, falling to Loyola (Ill.) in the championship game.
The Bearcats are coming off their runner-up finish in the BIG EAST Conference Championship. UC played in the tournament's championship game for the first time since joining the conference in 2005, falling to Louisville 50-44. The Bearcats rattled off a school-record 12 BIG EAST wins this season and enter NCAA play winners of four of the past five games.
Yancy Gates and Cashmere Wright were named to the BIG EAST All-Tournament Team. Gates averages 12.4 points per game and is the team's leading rebounder, pulling down 9.2 boards per game while Wright dishes out 4.6 assists per game and scores 10.9 points per game. UC's leading scorer is Second-Team All-BIG EAST selection Sean Kilpatrick who scores 14.3 points per game and has knocked down 85 triples this year. Dion Dixon also has a double-digit scoring average, pouring in 13.1 points per game.
Texas went 20-13 on the season and 8-7 in league play, falling to eventual Big 12 Champion Missouri in the conference tournament semifinals. UT is led by First-Team All-Big 12 selection J'Covan Brown who averages 20.1 points per game and Sheldon McClellan who scores at an 11.3 points per game clip.
UC NCAA TOURNAMENT NOTES
- UC is making its 26th appearance in the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship and its 16th in the last 21 years. The Bearcats are 41-24 all-time in NCAA Championship play with two national championships, six Final Fours and eight appearances in the Elite Eight.
- Friday will mark the second-straight season UC will play a Big 12 opponent in the second round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. The No. 6 Bearcats defeated the No. 11 seed Missouri, 78-63, in Washington, D.C. on March 17, 2012.
- UC is 7-1 against the current Big 12 membership in NCAA Championship play with the lone blemish being a 83-80 overtime loss to Kansas State on March 14, 1958.
- UC and UT share one common opponent this season, Oklahoma. The Bearcats knocked off the Sooners 56-55 inside U.S. Bank Arena on Dec. 29, 2011 while the Longhorns beat OU twice winning games in Norman, Okla. and Austin, Texas by margins of 69-58 and 72-64, respectively.
- UC's Cheikh Mbodj was a 2011 NJCAA Honorable Mention All-America selection at Grayson County College in Denison, Texas, a school located 265 miles north of UT's campus in Austin.
- Texas head coach Rick Barnes was the head coach at BIG EAST Conference school Providence from 1988-94 and was an assistant at Ohio State from 1986-87. This is the first time he has coached against Cincinnati.
- UC is 4-2 when seeded in the East Region. This is the third time the Bearcats have been slotted in the East (1999 and 1993).
- The Bearcats hold a 3-1 record all-time in Nashville and a 1-1 record in Bridgestone Arena, formerly the Gaylord Entertainment Center. UC played a pair of NCAA Championship games in Nashville as the South Region's No. 2 seed in 2000, knocking off No. 15 seed UNC Wilmington 64-47 on March 17 before falling to No. 7 seed Tulsa 69-61 on March 19.
SCOUTING THE NASHVILLE POD OF THE EAST REGION
- Overall record: 20-13
- Conference record: 9-9
- Finished sixth in Big 12 Conference ... Lost to Missouri, 81-67, in Big 12 Championship semifinals
- All-Big 12 First Team: J'Covan Brown
- All-Big 12 Honorable Mention: Myck Kabongo
- Big 12 All-Rookie Team: Myck Kabongo
- Scoring leader: J'Covan Brown, 20.1 ppg
- Rebounding leader: Clint Chapman, 5.5 rpg
- Assists leader: Myck Kabongo, 5.3 apg
- 3-point leader: J'Covan Brown, 36.7 percent (77-210)
- All-time series record vs. Texas: UC leads, 1-0
- Last time played: March 15, 1964
- NCAA Tournament record vs. Texas: 1-0
- Cronin's record vs. Opponent: 0-0
FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES
- Overall record: 23-9
- Conference record: 12-4
- Finished third in the ACC
- Won the ACC Championship, 85-82, vs. North Carolina
- Second Team All-ACC: Michael Snaer
- Honorable Mention: Bernard James
- ACC All-Defensive Team: Bernard James
- Scoring leader: Michael Snaer, 14.4 ppg
- Rebounding leader: Bernard James, 8.2 rpg
- Assists leader: Luke Loucks, 4.0 apg
- 3-point leader: Michael Snaer, 40.8 percent (60-147)
- Series record: FSU leads, 22-15, including 4-2 at neutral sites
- Last meeting: Nov. 28, 2008, FSU W, 58-47
- NCAA Tournament record vs. FSU: 0-0
- Cronin's record vs. FSU: 0-1
ST. BONAVENTURE BONNIES
- Overall record: 19-11
- Conference record: 10-6
- Finished third in the Atlantic 10 ... Won the Atlantic 10 Championship, 67-56, vs. Xavier
- Atlantic 10 Player of the Year: Andrew Nicholson
- All-Atlantic 10 First Team: Andrew Nicholson
- All-Defensive Team: Andrew Nicholson
- Scoring leader: Andrew Nicholson, 18.2 ppg
- Rebounding leader: Andrew Nicholson, 8.3 rpg
- Assists leader: Matthew Wright, 2.7 apg
- 3-point leader: Chris Johnson, 40.5 percent (15-37)
- Series record: St. Bonaventure leads, 4-3; tied 2-2 at neutral sites
- Last meeting: Dec. 26, 1973
- NCAA Tournament record vs. St. Bonaventure: 0-0
- Cronin's record vs. St. Bonaventure: 0-0