South Florida (12-17) at Cincinnati (20-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday. March 9, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Fifth Third Arena (13,176) -- Cincinnati, Ohio. Television: FSN-OH, Big East Network, MASN. Home Record: USF 10-8, UC 12-5. Away Record: USF 2-9, UC 5-5. Neutral Record: USF 0-0, UC 3-0. Conference Record: USF 3-14, UC 8-9. Series Record: Cincinnati leads, 23-8.
GAME NOTES: With their postseason hopes on the line, the Cincinnati Bearcats welcome the South Florida Bulls to Fifth Third Arena for a Big East Conference battle on Saturday afternoon.
After a 65-51 upset victory over Connecticut on Wednesday night, the Bulls have now won two in a row for the first time since early January. They currently sit at 12-17 overall, and a dismal 3-14 in conference.
The Bearcats dropped a 67-51 decision to Louisville on Monday night. That loss was their seventh in their last nine contests. Depending on the outcomes of other conference games this weekend, Cincy could finish anywhere between 8th and 10th in the league standings.
USF defeated UC, 46-45, last February at the Tampa Bay Times Forum to snap the Bearcats' two-game series win streak. Cincinnati leads 23-8 overall, which includes a commanding 14-1 advantage in the Queen City.
Victor Rudd registered a double-double consisting of 17 points and 10 rebounds as the South Florida Bulls coasted to a double-digit victory over the Connecticut Huskies at the Sun Dome earlier this week. Martino Brock scored 18 points for USF, which also received 11 points from Zach LeDay. Anthony Collins dished out 12 assists as the Bulls notched their second straight win.
Junior forward Victor Rudd leads USF in scoring (12.0 ppg) and rebounding (7.1 rpg). Senior forward Taorlyn Fitzpatrick also averages double figures at 10.3 ppg, and he ranks second in rebounding at 5.2 caroms per contest. Anthony Collins ranks second in the league in assists (6.19), fourth in assist-to- turnover ratio (2.35), and sixth in minutes played (35.48). The Bulls have struggled offensively this season, ranking at the very bottom of the Big East in points (59.6 ppg), assists (11.3 apg) and field goal percentage (.394). The Bulls also struggle on the boards (32.4 rpg), which also has them last in the league.
The Bearcats are coming off a rough loss at No. 8 Louisville, although three Bearcats scored in double figures led by Cashmere Wright's 15 points on 6- of-11 shooting and three three-pointers. Sean Kilpatrick and JaQuon Parker scored 12 points apiece in defeat.
Kilpatrick (17.5 ppg) ranks fourth in the Big East in scoring, while Wright (12.7 ppg) and Parker (11.0 ppg) are also averaging in double figures. As a unit, the Bearcats are scoring 67.8 ppg and giving up just 59.3 ppg. They do struggle with their shooting however, ranking at or near the bottom in both free throw percentage (.644) and field goal percentage (.403).
Although the Bulls have been somewhat resurgent of late, the Bearcats need a win to help salvage their chances for an NCAA Tournament berth, so look for them to pull out the win at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cincinnati 67, South Florida 62
03/09 10:49:44 ET
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