The Cincinnati Bearcats will travel up to Hartford, Connecticut to take on the UCONN Huskies in a rematch of January’s matchup. The Bearcats have won nine out of their last ten ball games while the Huskies have gone cold, losing their last four games.
This game is not what it used to be. Cincinnati has held up its end of the bargain, but UCONN has suffered a steep decline after winning the national championship in 2014. Dan Hurley was hired to turn the program around, and so far has struggled to keep his team above .500.
When these two teams last met, Cincinnati was constantly hit with counterpunches from UCONN, led by sophomore guard Alterique Gilbert, who dropped eighteen points and grabbed six rebounds. That game went into overtime, with Cincinnati barely pulling out a 74-72 win.
Times have changed, however, as UCONN has suffered a skid and aren’t jelling as they had in the beginning of the season, especially pulling off a win against Syracuse in the 2K Empire Classic. This Sunday should not be taken lightly as any conference game played away from home presents a new challenge.
In Cincinnati’s last game against UCF, all members of team stepped up when Jarron Cumberland was locked down defensively, specifically Justin Jenifer and Trevon Scott hitting clutch threes to ice the game. This has been a problem all year for Cincinnati as Cumberland was a one-man show, but the Bearcats are more dangerous than ever.
A tough game in Connecticut is expected, but the Bearcats should come out on top. Watch out for guard Christian Vital, who averages 14.0 points per game and can be lethal from all over the court. Mick Cronin’s team will be in for a dog fight Sunday afternoon, but nothing should be new that this team hasn’t already endured.