Originally posted on Bearcats Blog  |  Last updated 3/14/13
Today at noon on ESPN, the Cincinnati Bearcats continue their climb towards a Big East tournament title by taking on the Big East's top seed, the Georgetown Hoyas. You know Georgetown is awesome because they are the #1 seed. They have the coach of the year in John Thompson III. They have the Big East player of the year in Otto Porter. They are the top dog (horrible) in every sense of the term this season. The Bearcats can beat them. When they played nearly a month ago today, Cincinnati had the Hoyas on the ropes. The Bearcats let them off the hook. UC has what it takes to take down the Hoyas. They've won 4 of the last 5 meetings against them. UC has played well in the Big East tournament the last 3 years. They can pull this one off. I believe it. It's what March is all about. Show the world.  If you missed the Bearcats win over Providence, read about it here.  #9 Cincinnati Bearcats  Record: 22-10, 9-9 RPI: 49 Ken Pom: 39 Ken Pom Offense: 117 Ken Pom Defense: 12 Minutes Sean Kilpatrick 36.3 JaQuon Parker 32.5 Cashmere Wright 31.3 Points Sean Kilpatrick 16.2 Cashmere Wright 11.8 JaQuon Parker 10.7 FT % Cashmere Wright 84% Sean Kilpatrick 77.8% Cheikh Mbodj 70.2% 3 Pointers Made (3 Pt %) Sean Kilpatrick 45 (29.4%) Cashmere Wright 31 (27.4%) JaQuon Parker 18 (35.3%) Rebounding Titus Rubles 6.1 JaQuon Parker 4.9 Sean Kilpatrick 4.8 Assists Cashmere Wright 47 Titus Rubles 35 Sean Kilpatrick 28 Steals Cashmere Wright 21 Titus Rubles 16 Sean Kilpatrick 16 Blocks Cheikh Mbodj 47 Justin Jackson 19 David Nyarsuk 11 #1 Georgetown Hoyas Record: 24-5, 14-4 RPI: 10 Ken Pom: 13 Ken Pom Offense: 68 Ken Pom Defense: 3 Minutes Markel Starks 36.2 Otto Porter 35.8 Nate Lubick 30.5 Points Otto Porter 18.1 Markel Starks 13.3 D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera 11.1 FT % Otto Porter 80.7 Jabril Trawick 75 D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera 73.1 3 Pointers Made (3 Pt %) Markel Starks 39 (40.6%) Otto Porter 30 (44.1%) D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera 27 (36%) Rebounding Otto Porter 7.3 Nate Lubick 5.6 D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera 3.8 Assists Markel Starks 57 Nate Lubick 48 Otto Porter 44 Steals Otto Porter 33 Markel Starks 23 D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera 19 Blocks Mikael Hopkins 21 Nate Lubick 14 Otto Porter 13 Georgetown won the regular season meeting 62-55.  The Hoyas blew a 12 point lead with 15 minutes to go in that game. Cincinnati managed a 1 point lead, but couldn't quite get over the hump and complete the comeback.  Otto Porter had 16 points and 7 rebounds. Markel Starks had 17 points, 3 assists and 3 steals. The Hoyas were 19-25 at the free throw line.  JaQuon Parker had 15 points on 4-9 shooting, 6-9 at the line. Sean Kilpatrick had 12 on 3-13 shooting. Cashmere Wright had 12 on 5-14 shooting. UC was 17-30 at the free throw line. They were 4-24 from 3. Neither one of those numbers are good.  Justin Jackson had a big game with 8 rebounds. Getting production like that out of him today is going to be big. Mbodj had 5 blocks. He has been playing some inspired ball lately. Hopefully he can keep it going against a team he already played well against.  Mick said he wants to go smaller and faster. We will see if Thomas plays a lot tomorrow. He barely played in the first meeting. As for playing faster, let me take a minute to catch my breath from laughing so hard.  Still not done.  Still laughing.  Wheezing. I'm fine. The Hoyas went zone on Cincinnati and really flustered the Cats. They couldn't handle the Hoyas changing defenses. Expect to see a lot of that tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully the Cats will be able to handle it this time. If not, they could be in trouble.  The bench had 8 points in the first meeting. That's going to have to double if Cincinnati is going to win.  The last time Cincinnati beat their first round Big East tournament opponent by double digits, they lost by 38 in the next round. If they keep the margin under 38, that would be progress.  In fact, the last 3 times UC won a tournament game by double digits, 2011 NCAA, 2011 Big East, 2010 NIT, the Bearcats lost the following game by double digits.  I'm seriously pumped for this game. I think Cincinnati can win. I think they are going to win. I just have a feeling about this one. I could end up being dead wrong and you can rub these words back in my face if the Bearcats lose, but I don't think that will happen. I believe in the Cincinnati Bearcats.  If you aren't excited about the game, how about watching how the Big East tournament meeting between these teams last year ended?   
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