SMU at Cincinnati
|Date & Time||Friday March 15, 2019, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
Cincinnati Bearcats -7 -- Over/Under: 130
The SMU Mustangs and 24th ranked Cincinnati Bearcats will square off at FedExForum this Friday night in the Quarterfinals of the AAC Men’s Tournament.
The 10-seed SMU Mustangs kept their season alive as the Mustangs used a strong defensive effort to upset the 7-seed Tulsa Golden Hurricane by a 74-65 on Thursday night. SMU led by a 47-33 margin at halftime and had no trouble securing the victory after holding the Golden Hurricane scoreless for the first 7:20 of the 2nd half. SMU shot 46.2% from the field while holding Tulsa to just 36.4% shooting from the field and 24.2% shooting from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Mustangs was Jahmal McMurray who had 27 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists and a steal.
Coming in to their game agianst Tulsa, SMU was averaging 71.8 ppg on 43.9% shooting from the field. The Mustangs were averaging 8.2 three-pointers per game on 33.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, SMU has been led by Jahmal McMurray (17.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.5 apg), Ethan Chargois (12.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.9 apg), Jimmy Whitt Jr. (12.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.4 spg), and Isiaha Mike (11.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.1 bpg).
Defensively, SMU was allowing their opponents to average 70.1 ppg on 42.8% shooting from the field. The Mustangs have a rebound margin of 1.6 and a turnover margin of 0.8.
The 24th ranked Cincinnati Bearcats finished their regular season with an overall record of 25-6 and earned the 2-seed in the AAC Men’s Tournament after finishing conference play with a 14-4 record. Cincinnati once agianst had one of the best defenses in the country, however, although they were able to pile up wins, the Bearcats did struggle against top-tier competition as they went just 1-3 against UCF & Houston this season and sufferance non-conference losses to Ohio State and Mississippi State. Cincinnati ranked just 206th in scoring offense & 250th in FG%, however, the Bearcats didn’t have to put many points up on the board to get victories behind a defense that ranked 11th in scoring defense & 37th in defensive FG%.
On the season, Cincinnati is averaging 71.6 ppg on 43.1% shooting from the field. The Bearcats are averaging 6.6 three-pointers per game on 34.5% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Cincinnati has been led by Jarron Cumberland (18.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.2 spg), Keith Williams (10.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.1 spg), Tre Scott (8.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.5 apg), and Justin Jenifer (8.2 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 2.9 apg).
Defensively, Cincinnati is holding their opponents to an average of 62.0 ppg on 40.7% shooting from the field. The Bearcats had a rebound margin of 5.0 and a turnover margin of 3.4.
Cincinnati was able to defeat SMU in both their regular season games this season as the Bearcats won by a 73-68 margin at home in early February while defeating the Mustangs by a 52-49 margin on the road in late February.
The Mustangs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall, however, are just 19-39-1 ATS in their last 59 neutral site games. The Bearcats are 5-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a double-digit loss at home, however, are 0-8 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
SMU was really struggling coming into postseason play as they Mustangs has lost 9 of their last 10 regular season games, however, SMU has looked solid so far in the AAC Men’s Tournament and although they lost both match-ups to Cincinnati in the regular season, both games were competitive. Cincinnati is a solid team, I just don’t think their top-25 material as although their defense can lock opponents down, their offense really isn’t that solid. Cincinnati has been barley pulling out wins over the past month and as I think SMU can’t once again be competitive in this one, I think this is just too many points to pass up on. Take SMU and the points. Good Luck!