NCAA BK

Sat, Feb 8, 2014 - 7:30 PM ET
Game Preview
 

Cincinnati-SMU Preview

Share This Story

   
 

To further increase its lead atop the American Athletic Conference, Cincinnati would have to become the first team to win at SMU this season.

The seventh-ranked Bearcats will also try for their first 16-game win streak in 12 seasons when they meet the Mustangs on Saturday night.

Behind one of the nation's best defenses and the high-scoring Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati (22-2, 11-0) has a 2 1/2-game lead over No. 14 Louisville in the AAC. The Cardinals, idle this weekend, will visit the Bearcats on Feb. 22.

SMU (18-5, 7-3) is in third place and has beaten two Top 25 opponents during its 12-0 start at home, its best since beginning 13-0 in the 1999-2000 season.

The Mustangs topped then-No. 17 Connecticut 74-65 on Jan. 4 and then-No. 22 Memphis 87-72 last Saturday, bolstering their chances for their first NCAA tournament berth since 1993.

"I'm just hopeful we can build this and make it special," coach Larry Brown said. "There's no reason why we can't be a premier program. We've just got to get people to believe in what we're doing."

This game matches the best defenses in the AAC. SMU is allowing the second-fewest points per game in the conference (61.3) behind Cincinnati's 56.8, which ranks fourth nationally. However, the Mustangs are second in the nation in opponents' field-goal percentage at 36.8, ahead of the Bearcats' 38.6.

Cincinnati struggled against the SMU defense on Jan. 1, shooting 36.5 percent overall and 4 of 16 from 3-point range in a 65-57 win in its AAC debut. The Bearcats hit 23 of 31 from the foul line while the Mustangs were 8 of 9.

Kilpatrick was 3 of 12 from the field and had 13 points, well below his conference-best 19.7 average.

Cincinnati wasn't ranked for that game, but now the Mustangs are looking to end a 31-game slide against Top 10 teams that dates to an 82-76 win over No. 7 Florida on Dec. 3, 1987.

The Bearcats are riding their second 15-game winning streak in four seasons but haven't had a longer one since a 20-game run in 2001-02. This is their best start since winning 26 of 28 that same season, and their league record is their best since finishing 16-0 in 1999-2000 in Conference USA.

Cincinnati has earned five road wins during AAC play, but the last four have been by an average of 3.8 points.

Kilpatrick has scored a combined 57 in the past two road wins. He had 26 points along with a career-high 12 rebounds in a 63-58 home win over No. 22 Connecticut on Thursday.

"The mark of a great player is them rising to the occasion, and he has the ability to do that," coach Mick Cronin said. "He is playing very smart and shooting well from the floor."

SMU earned its seventh win in eight games Thursday by blowing out visiting Temple 75-52. The Mustangs held the Owls to 30.3 percent shooting, the lowest by an opponent this season, while topping 54.0 percent in a second straight game.

Markus Kennedy tied Shawn Williams for the team scoring lead with 14 points. Kennedy, the team's second-leading scorer (12.2 ppg), was the only SMU player in double figures in the loss at Cincinnati with 12 points.

Nic Moore, averaging 13.7 points, was held to nine in the Mustangs' third loss in four all-time matchups.

Cincinnati is making its first visit to SMU.

Tagged: Cincinnati, Southern Methodist, Sean Kilpatrick

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



NCAA BK Videos

Georgetown, Syracuse to renew CBK rivalry Posted: Jun 10, 2014
Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson III on the renewal of the rivalry betw...

Cuonzo Martin new head coach at Cal Posted: Apr 16, 2014
Cuonzo Martin is introduced as Cal's new head coach.

UConn tops Notre Dame in women's final Posted: Apr 09, 2014
Hear from Geno Auriemma and his players after their National Championship victor...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/885881/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_885000/ff_885881_xl.jpg&w=100 74.95 Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black
    Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Georgetown_Hoyas/browse/featuredproduct/1030243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1030000/ff_1030243_xl.jpg&w=100 119.95 Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue
    Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Duke_Blue_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/1032710/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1032000/ff_1032710_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue
    Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oregon_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/1052002/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052002_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green
    Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Ohio_State_Buckeyes/browse/featuredproduct/1052645/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052645_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet
    Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Indiana_Hoosiers/browse/featuredproduct/1124528/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1124000/ff_1124528_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Cri..
    adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Louisville_Cardinals/browse/featuredproduct/1127200/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127200_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/1127218/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127218_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey ..
    Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Gonzaga_Bulldogs/browse/featuredproduct/1155821/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1155000/ff_1155821_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue
    Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions Adjustable Hat – Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Hurricanes/browse/featuredproduct/1177723/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1177000/ff_1177723_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Cham..