Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Houston Cougars Pick-Odds-Prediction - 2/15/14
Houston Cougars (12-12) at Cincinnati Bearcats (22-3)
College Basketball: Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 3:00 pm (Fifth Third Arena)
The Line: Cincinnati Bearcats -15 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN U
The Cincinnati Bearcats hope to avoid the upset bid of the Houston Cougars at Fifth Third Avenue.
The conference slate has proven to be difficult for Houston at 4-7 which has them sitting in a sixth place tie in the AAC. That is a three game deficit behind fifth place Connecticut but not a bad spot given the top six seeds receive a first round bye in the playoffs. The Cougars are looking to build on an 88-74 victory over Temple behind 54% marksmanship that built an eleven point first half lead which was never challenged. The Owls couldn't compete with nearly 45% from the floor with UH going 11-24 from long range to seal the deal. TaShawn Thomas tossed in a game high 25 points and snared nine boards with Jherrod Stiggers adding 20 minutes followed by the duo of Danuel House and Brandon Morris with 16 and 15 points.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati controls their own fate going forward as the lead the AAC with an 11-1 record but there is no room for error as Louisville is just one game behine loss column. The shutdown defense that has been the Bearcats calling card finally hit a snag in a 76-55 loss at Southern Methodist last Saturday. The Mustangs hit the Cincy D with 54% from the floor and the Bearcats could only counter with 35% shooting while giving the ball away 18 times. Sean Kilpatrick continued to score the basketball with a contest best 22 points along with six yanks followed by Justin Jackson and Titus Rubles with a combined 18 points and 14 rebounds. Production was touch and go throughout with only seven points coming from outside of the starting five.
Houston nearly pulled the upset of Cincinnati the first time around and I don't think Cincinnati is going to forget. That narrow escape combined with the Bearcats loss last time out to SMU has me looking at laying the chalk although I personally don't like Cincy as a big fave...