Cincinnati Men's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Cincinnati Bearcats

American (30-4, 16-2)

Cincinnati cruised through the American Athletic Conference, only losing two conference games on the road against Houston and Wichita State. As usual, the Bearcats had success under Coach Mick Cronin due to their stellar defense and impressive shot blocking. This is not a team that is going to get blown out, so with a clutch shot or two, Cincinnati can be an extremely dangerous team during the NCAA Tournament.
Big Wins: 12/16 at UCLA (77-63), 1/31 Houston (80-70), 3/4 at Wichita State (62-61)
Bad Losses: 12/9 vs Florida (60-66), 2/15 at Houston (62-67), 2/18 Wichita State (72-76)
Coach: Mick Cronin
Why They Can Surprise:
The defense starts with shot blockers Jacob Evans, Gary Clark and Kyle Washington. Those three each averaged at least one block per game. Clark and Washington are the tough interior forces and both are very strong on the glass. Evans, a 6-6 junior wing, is so much more than an occasional shot blocker. He averages 12.9 points, 3.2 assists, 1.4 steals and also made 58 three-pointers. Clark and Washington are very productive in the scoring department too. When the Bearcats are working their offense through Clark and Washington in the paint, the offense can be quite dangerous.
Why They Can Disappoint:
However, the offense can be stagnant at times. Cincinnati is not going to run up and down the floor and put up too many points on any day, but they will have to be more efficient shooting the ball. Much of that scoring pressure will fall on the shoulders of Justin Jenifer, Jarron Cumberland and Cane Broome. Jenifer and Broome are good ball handlers and Broome, a transfer from Sacred Heart, can help in the scoring department as well. He has not been scoring nearly as much as he did in the Northeast Conference, but Broome is more than capable of being an efficient and effective scorer. Cumberland can score too, but he has not been very efficient. If Broome or Cumberland are having a good day in the scoring department, Cincinnati’s defense will take over and lead the Bearcats to a successful tournament and perhaps their second trip to the Sweet Sixteen since 2001.
Probable Starters:
Justin Jenifer, Junior, Guard, 4.8 ppg, 2.5 apg
Jarron Cumberland, Sophomore, Guard, 10.9 ppg, 2.8 apg
Jacob Evans, Junior, Guard, 12.9 ppg, 12.9 ppg, 3.2 apg, 4.5 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Gary Clark, Senior, Forward, 12.9 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1.2 bpg
Kyle Washington, Senior, Forward, 11.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.4 bpg
Key Role Players:
Nysier Brooks, Sophomore, Center, 2.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg
Cane Broome, Junior, Guard, 8.3 ppg, 2.8 apg
Trevor Moore, Freshman, Guard, 3.4 ppg
Tre Scott, Sophomore, Forward, 3.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg
Keith Williams, Freshman, Guard, 3.1 ppg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.6 (125th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 57.3 (2, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.6 (134, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.1 (2, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.6 (179, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.7 (90, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.4 (256, 7)
Rebound Margin: 7.7 (10, 3)
Assists Per Game: 16.1 (34, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.7 (65, 4)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2017    NCAA Round of 64 win over Kansas State
2017    NCAA Round of 32 loss to UCLA
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 3/4