With the win over 12th ranked Louisville on Thursday night and South Florida yesterday afternoon, the Bearcats continue to ascend the rankings. They are now slotted as 7th both major polls, receiving 1,182 votes in the AP Poll and 570 votes in the Coaches Poll. This is the highest ranking for Cincinnati in the Mick Cronin era. That mark was last set in the 2012-13 season when UC was slotted 8th in both polls.
As the Bearcats’ target on their back grows ever larger so too does the importance of their upcoming games. Cincinnati has won 14 straight games and boast a 2 1/2 game lead in the American Conference but host 22nd ranked UConn on Thursday. Then they make a quick turnaround and head to SMU on Saturday night. Those teams are 5th and 3rd in AAC standings respectively, boasting 17 wins a piece. I’d expect them to certainly play up against the Bearcats as both are fighting for positioning in the conference standings and seeding in the NCAA Tournament.
In other words, Cincinnati can’t rest on their laurels despite their top-10 ranking otherwise it will get stripped from them as quickly as they received it.