Cincinnati Men's Basketball 2017 NCAA Tournament Capsule


Cincinnati Bearcats

American (29-5, 16-2)

Cincinnati has now reached seven straight NCAA Tournaments. Only once, in 2012, did the Bearcats reach the Sweet Sixteen. The Bearcats will hope to reach that type of success again in 2017. Cincinnati again boasts a stellar defense and they should have enough experience and offensive firepower to be a dangerous team in the tournament.
Big Wins: 12/1 at Iowa State (55-54), 1/12 SMU (66-64), 1/26 Xavier (86-78)
Bad Losses: 11/19 vs Rhode Island (71-76), 2/12 at SMU (51-60), 2/26 at UCF (49-53)
Coach: Mick Cronin
Why They Can Surprise:
The Bearcats will usually boast one of the better scoring defenses in the country and this year has been no different. Scoring points against the Bearcats is a grind for most teams and it does not help that Cincinnati will take care of the ball and very rarely make anything easy. Troy Caupain is not scoring as effectively as he did last season, but he dishes out 4.4 assists per game and commits a mere 1.2 turnovers. He spearheads the efficient Cincinnati offense. The rest of the team deserves a lot of credit for keeping the turnovers down too, but this is Caupain’s team and he leads the way. Fellow guards Jacob Evans, Kevin Johnson and Jarron Cumberland also add to the defensive intensity with their ability to grab a steal or two every game.
Why They Can Disappoint:
The Bearcats have four players who average in double digits in the scoring column, but consistent scoring is a problem. Kyle Washington and Gary Clark are strong interior forces who can step up and knock down some three-pointers while remaining strong on the glass and Evans, Caupain and Johnson can certainly hit some shots, but this is a team that can also go long stretches without scoring. The lack of a proven bench is the most significant issue. Freshmen Tre Scott and Jarron Cumberland and sophomore Justin Jenifer provide most of the depth, but Coach Mick Cronin has shown that he does not really trust his young depth entirely. In their regular season loss to SMU, the bench barely saw the floor and Cincinnati had to rely on their starters to attempt a comeback. There will be close games in the NCAA Tournament and the Bearcats will need the bench to do be somewhat productive so the starters can at least get a little more rest.
Probable Starters:
Troy Caupain, Senior, Guard, 10.1 ppg, 4.4 apg, 4.5 rpg
Kevin Johnson, Senior, Guard, 8.0 ppg, 1.3 apg
Jacob Evans, Sophomore, Guard, 13.7 ppg, 2.5 apg, 4.0 rpg
Gary Clark, Junior, Forward, 10.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.2 bpg
Kyle Washington, Junior, Forward, 13.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.2 bpg
Key Role Players:
Tre Scott, Freshman, Forward, 3.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg
Justin Jenifer, Sophomore, Guard, 3.0 ppg, 2.0 apg
Jarron Cumberland, Freshman, Guard, 8.1 ppg, 1.6 apg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.7 (142nd in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.2 (4, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.0 (94, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.0 (6, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.5 (159, 4)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.7 (192, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.9 (276, 8)
Rebound Margin: 4.6 (50, 3)
Assists Per Game: 16.5 (23, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.3 (11, 2)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2016    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Saint Joseph's
2015    NCAA Round of 64 win over Purdue
2015    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Kentucky
2014    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Harvard
2013    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Creighton
2012    NCAA Round of 64 win over Texas
2012    NCAA Round of 32 win over Florida State
2012    NCAA Regional semifinal loss to Ohio State
2011    NCAA Round of 64 win over Missouri
2011    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Connecticut
2010    NIT      First Round win over Weber State
2010    NIT      Second Round loss to Dayton
2008    CBI      First Round loss to Bradley
2006    NIT      First Round win over Charlotte
2006    NIT      Second Round win over Minnesota
2006    NIT      Quarterfinal loss to South Carolina
2005    NCAA Round of 64 win over Iowa
2005    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Kentucky
*all team stats through 3/5