The Cincinnati Bearcats laid an egg this afternoon dropping an ugly rock fight to the UConn Huskies 51-45. The offense failed UC once again despite the defense holding Connecticut to lows in several statistical areas. It seemed at the time like Cincinnati’s AAC championship hopes had started to whither away. But they were bailed out today by Memphis.
The 21st ranked Tigers hosted the 7th ranked Louisville Cardinals this afternoon. The game began right around the same time Cincinnati’s ended, meaning UL was up a half-game on the Bearcats with the hopes of extending it to a full game two hours later. But Memphis didn’t allow that, emerged on top as four Tigers put up double-digit points. Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell did his best Sean Kilpatrick impression to carry the team but the Cardinals couldn’t overtake Memphis. The Tigers won 72-66, effectively resetting the top of the AAC standings to what it was this morning.
So now Louisville and Cincinnati remain 1-2 in the American Conference. The Cardinals hold the tiebreaker (for AAC tournament seeding, only) due to their victory over SMU. The Bearcats are 1-1 against the Mustangs and thus hold a lower seed. But if the season were to end today, Cincinnati and Louisville would share the AAC regular season championship. UC shouldn’t relegate themselves to that, though. They must beat Memphis on Thursday then Rutgers on Saturday to keep themselves bolstered on top of the AAC. Simultaneously the Bearcats will need some help from SMU.
The Mustangs and Cardinals hook up on Wednesday. If SMU takes down Louisville at home, the Bearcats would be in a position to earn themselves not only AAC championship rings but the #1 seed in the conference tournament if they beat Memphis on Thursday.