This week’s Coaches Poll has finally been released. It was only two hours late. USA Today was evidently having some technical issues earlier preventing them from showing the complete rankings outside of five schools. Cincinnati was not one of them. But USA Today has apparently finally cleared up those issues and released the full list. The Cincinnati Bearcats have fallen to #15 in the latest Coaches Poll receiving 351 votes. This is the same slot as the AP Poll and both aren’t too surprising considering the loss to the UConn Huskies.
Again, I’m not too concerned with the ranking itself. Anywhere between top-10 and top-20 is right about where this team should be considering their rare combination of offensive inconsistency and defense dominance. What is becoming a bit concerning is their prospective seed in the NCAA Tournament. They’re in, that’s a given, but where they are slotted is important. The Bearcats don’t have the depth to make a deep tournament run and will need some assistance from the Selection Committee. UC can help their cause by positioning themselves as a team worthy of a 2- or 3-seed (roughly 5th to 13th in the polls).
As of now, Cincinnati is looking at a 4- or 5-seed and playing on the same side of the bracket as the 1-seed. Unless we’re talking about a quadrant that is lead by Wichita State, UC will have a tough time making a long stay in the tourney. But if the Bearcats can win-out, earn a regular season AAC championship, and make a deep run in the conference tournament, even winning it, then Cincinnati should be no worse than a 3-seed come March Madness.