The Cincinnati Bearcats and the UCF Knights will both be gunning for a victory on 2/26/2017 at 3:00 PM when they meet in a game matchup.
Cincinnati Bearcats vs UCF Knights
When: 3:00 PM ET, Sunday, February 26, 2017
Where: CFE Federal Credit Union Arena, Orlando, Florida
|829||Cincinnati Bearcats||4.5 (-110)||123.5 (-110)||-200
TV: 3 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network
PREDICTION: Cincinnati 80, UCF 61
Oddsmakers currently have the Cincinnati listed as 4.5 point favorites versus the UCF, while the game’s total is sitting at 123.5.
Even when No. 16 Cincinnati coasts to victory, coach Mick Cronin and his players have to find something they can improve upon to keep sharp for the upcoming American Athletic Conference tournament and Big Dance. The Bearcats look to improve upon a poor second-half effort last time out when they seek a 19th win in 20 games when they visit Central Florida on Sunday.
Cincinnati raced out to a 24-point first-half lead and led Memphis by 19 at the half Thursday before allowing the Tigers to shoot 58 percent after the break (54.4 for the game) and draw within six before posting an 87-74 victory. “The energy just wasn’t there (in the second half) and communication when we got back on defense,” said Cincinnati forward Gary Clark, who had 13 points and nine rebounds. “If you want to make a deep run in March, you can’t take any half off. We just can’t coast like that in the second half. We have to keep our foot on the pedal and keep pushing.” The Bearcats didn’t lack for defense against UCF on Feb. 8, holding the Knights to 40 percent shooting, including 3-of-15 from beyond the arc, and forcing 16 turnovers in a 60-50 win. All five Knights starters scored in double figures Wednesday at Temple, and the team came back from 11 points down in the second half to pull off a 71-69 triumph – their third straight after dropping six of seven.
ABOUT CINCINNATI (25-3, 14-1 AAC): Junior forward Kyle Washington scored 16 points against Memphis, sophomore guard Jacob Evans added 15 and senior guard Troy Caupain tallied 12 to go along with seven assists. Washington (13.9 points, 7.1 rebounds) had 14 points, 11 rebounds and four steals in 33 minutes in the first contest against the Knights. Clark (10.3 points, eight rebounds, 1.3 blocks) is averaging 11.9 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in seven games this month.
ABOUT UCF (18-10, 9-7): Sophomore guard B.J. Taylor (16.7 points, 3.7 assists, 4.4 rebounds) led the way against Temple with 19 points, while 7-6 sophomore Tacko Fall (11.9 points, 9.7 rebounds) collected 14 points and 10 rebounds as the Knights turned it over a season-low nine times. Fall has 272 rebounds, most by a Knight since the school joined Division I, while his 73.6 field-goal percentage is second-best in school history behind only his 75-percent mark from last season. Currently in sixth place, UCF is looking to hold off Memphis (8-6) in the final two games to secure one of the five first-round byes in the AAC tournament.
1. Cincinnati leads the all-time series 8-0, with seven of those wins coming since both teams joined the AAC.
2. UCF hasn’t beaten a ranked foe since a 68-63 decision over Connecticut on Nov. 25, 2011.
3. The Bearcats’ 25-3 record through 28 games is the best during Cronin’s 11-year tenure.