March 19, 2012
Cincinnati Faces Ohio State in East Region Semifinal on Thursday
Sixth-seeded Cincinnati (26-10) plays in-state rival and second-seeded Ohio State (29-7) in an East regional semifinal contest Thursday at TD Garden in Boston. The game tips at approximately 9:45 p.m. ET. It will be televised by CBS and can be heard on 700 WLW.
The Bearcats earned their first trip to a regional semifinal since 2001 when they outlasted third-seeded Florida State 62-56 Sunday night at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Sean Kilpatrick led UC with 18 points while Dion Dixon added 15 points. Yancy Gates had 10 points while Jaquon Parker contributed nine points and 11 rebounds.
Ohio State advanced to the regional semifinal round after defeating Gonzaga 73-66 Saturday in Pittsburgh. Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas scored 18 points apiece to lead the Buckeyes to victory.
Ohio State leads the series 5-4 over Cincinnati. The previous three meetings have taken place at a neutral site. The two teams last met at the John Wooden Tradition on Dec. 16, 2006 with the fourth-ranked Buckeyes claiming a 72-50 win. UC is 2-0 against Ohio State at the NCAA tournament. The Bearcats won consecutive national titles after defeating the Buckeyes in the 1961 (70-65 OT) and 1962 (71-59) title games.
GAME AT A GLANCE
Series History: 10th meeting; Ohio State leads 5-4 overall; Cincinnati leads 2-1 at neutral sites and 2-0 in the NCAA Championship. Ohio State leads 3-2 in Columbus and 1-0 in Cincinnati. STREAK - Ohio State won the last meeting.
Last Meeting: Fourth-ranked Ohio State won 72-50 over Cincinnati at the John Wooden Tradition on Dec. 16, 2006.
UC's NCAA Championship History: 26th tournament appearance; UC is 43-24 all-time in the NCAA Championship en route to winning two national titles (1961 and 1962), making eight regional finals and six final fours. The 2011-12 campaign marks the 50th anniversary of UC's 1962 national title team and the 20th anniversary of the Bearcats' run to the 1992 Final Four.
Last NCAA Appearance: Cincinnati was seeded sixth in the West region of last year's tournament and defeated Missouri 78-63 in the second round before falling to Connecticut 69-58 in the third round. Both games were played in Washington, D.C.
Last Game in the NCAA Championship: UC defeated three-seed Florida State 62-56 in second-round action of the NCAA Championship on March 16, 2012 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
Coaches: Mick Cronin is in his sixth season at Cincinnati (113-87); ninth season overall (182-111). Cronin is 3-3 in the NCAA Championship (0-2 at Murray State and 3-1 at Cincinnati). Thad Mata is in his eighth season at Ohio State (219-64);
12th season overall (321-95).
Rankings: Ohio State was ranked seventh in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches polls for March 12. UC was not ranked in either poll.
Radio: 700 WLW; Dan Hoard provides play-by-play alongside color analyst Chuck Machock.
TV: CBS; Announcers: Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery and Lesley Visser. Mark Wolff produces.
UC Twitter Page: @GoBEARCATS
STREAKS, STORYLINES & SIDEBARS
-The Bearcats' No. 6 seed in the East region is their highest in the NCAA Championship since earning a No. 4 seed in the Atlanta Region in the 2004 tournament.
-Cincinnati is one of only five programs in the nation to play in three consecutive NCAA national title games (1961-63), joining Ohio State (1960-62), UCLA (1967-73), Duke (1990-92) and Kentucky (1996-98). The Bearcats won the crown in 1961 and 1962 and were second in 1963.
-UC head coach Mick Cronin has rebuilt the Cincinnati program during his six-year tenure, increasing the win total in each of his first five seasons (11 in 2006-07, 13 in 2007-08, 18 in 2008-09, 19 in 2009-10 and 26 in 2010-11).
-Cincinnati set the school record for BIG EAST Conference wins (12) and the best finish (tied for fourth) this season. UC was 12-6 in the league to tie Georgetown and USF.
-Since starting the 2011-12 season at 5-3, the Bearcats have won 21 of their last 28 contests.
-A win Thursday against Ohio State would send Cincinnati to its first regional final since 1996.