breaking news

Dayton man arrested in connection with hit-and-run crash that killed motorcycle passenger

7 things to know about Cincinnati’s two top-10 college basketball teams


The University of Cincinnati and Xavier University men’s basketball teams are both among the top 10 teams in the Associated Press Top 25 poll for the first time since 1958.

Xavier (18-3) checks in at No. 8, up from No. 11 last week. UC (17-2) moved from No. 12 to No. 9 this week, which marks its best ranking since 2013-14 when the Bearcats climbed to No. 7.

MORE SPORTS

»Reds announce promotional giveaways

»From North Pole to New Miami, veteran coach set to retire

»Bengals Dalton finalist for NFLPA Community Award

Both are coming off 2-0 weeks.

Here are seven things to know about the two programs:

1. Stacking up against the top 25

Xavier is 2-1 against Top 25 teams, including Saturday’s win over No. 19 Seton Hall – the Musketeers’ first ever win there – and a Dec. 2 win over the Bearcats. Their loss was against No. 1 Villanova.

UC is 0-2 against ranked teams with the other loss coming against then No. 5 Florida on Dec. 9 in the game following the matchup against Xavier. The Bearcats are 2-2 overall against top 50 RPI teams and Xavier is 3-2.

2. Strength of schedule

This Xavier team has been impressive so far against tough competition, as evidenced by its No. 3 RPI ranking. The Musketeers’ strength of schedule is the 10th toughest. Statistically, they average 84.5 points per game with a scoring margin of plus-11.5.

UC is No. 25 in RPI, with a strength of schedule rated No. 132. The Bearcats are on a 10-game win streak and they average 77.7 points per game with a scoring margin of plus-20.3, which ranks third nationally. Their 57.4 points allowed per game ranks second and they are third in opponent’s field goal percentage at 36.9.

Both teams are perfect at home.

3. Conference standings

The Musketeers are second in the Big East at 6-2 with back-to-back road losses against Providence and Villanova earlier this month. They host Villanova on Feb. 17 and get another shot at Providence at home on Feb. 28.

The Bearcats lead the American Athletic Conference at 6-0 but still have two games against No. 17 Wichita State (15-4, 5-2 AAC).

4. Statistical leaders

Trevon Bluiett leads Xavier with 19.1 points per game, while J.P. Macura adds 13.4 points. Macura was named Big East Player of the Week after averaging 21.5 points in two games last week, including a career-high 27 points versus Seton Hall. He had 18 of his points in the second half alone.

UC has four players averaging in double digits for scoring. Jacob Evans leads the team with 13.9 points per game, Gary Clark adds 12.8 points, Kyle Washington has 11.0 points and Jarron Cumberland chips in 10.8 points per game.

Clark was named The American’s Co-Player of the Week (along with SMU guard Shake Milton), after posting back-to-back double-doubles, averaging 15.5 points and 14.5 rebounds while shooting 48.3 percent (14 of 29) from the floor in a 2-0 week for the Bearcats.

5. All-time wins leader

With an 88-82 win over St. John’s on Jan. 17, Chris Mack became Xavier’s all-time winningest coach, overtaking his friend, mentor and former coach Pete Gillen, who was 202-75 with the Musketeers from 1985 to 1994.

Mack, who played for Gillen before graduating in 1992, now sits at 204-94 after adding another win last week against Seton Hall.

6. Gaining ground

Mick Cronin still has a ways to go to catch up to UC’s all-time wins leader Bob Huggins, who was 398-128 from 1990 to 2005. In 12 years with the program, Cronin is 254-137, which puts him at No. 2 all-time for the Bearcats.

7. Coming up

Xavier hosts Marquette at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, while UC is home against Temple at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

The Musketeers’ remaining games against Providence and Villanova will likely determine their seeding for the Big East tournament. The Bearcats’ biggest games coming up are against No. 17 Wichita State at home on Feb. 18 and on the road March 4 and against Houston (15-4, 5-2 AAC) at home Jan. 31 and on the road Feb. 15.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

East Kentwood teammates Bryce Mostella, Dallas Fincher discuss Michigan offers
East Kentwood teammates Bryce Mostella, Dallas Fincher discuss Michigan offers

Skipping the freshman football team at Grand Rapids (Mich.) East Kentwood, 2020 prospects Bryce Mostella and Dallas Fincher started their high school football careers on the junior varsity squad. The following season, they were making an impact on the varsity. On May 17, Mostella, a 4-star weakside defensive end, and Fincher...
Michigan recruiting: 3-sport star Ryan Hayes doesn’t need social media to hype his game
Michigan recruiting: 3-sport star Ryan Hayes doesn’t need social media to hype his game

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Ryan Hayes set up a Twitter account for practical purposes. The social media playground does include those among its qualities. “ I made it when I was a sophomore because I realized a lot of coaches use it to contact you first,” Hayes told Land of 10. “But I&rsquo...
Can Darius Slayton become all-around WR Auburn football needs?
Can Darius Slayton become all-around WR Auburn football needs?

Over the next few weeks, SEC Country will take Auburn football fans to Summer School. Each session will focus on one position on Auburn’s 2018 roster, finding answers from spring practice and looking ahead to what might be the biggest questions for the fall. Let’s continue with the top wide receiver position...
Clinton-Massie ousts Greenville in regional semifinals
Clinton-Massie ousts Greenville in regional semifinals

The first two innings cost the third-ranked Greenville softball team Wednesday in a Division II regional semifinal at Mason High School. No. 6 Clinton-Massie (27-5) scored five runs in the first inning and three in the second and rode that early lead to an 11-4 victory, avenging a 14-4 loss to Greenville in the same round a year ago. Claire Carruthers...
Live updates: Alabama vs. Arizona for women’s golf national championship
Live updates: Alabama vs. Arizona for women’s golf national championship

The first players are on the course in Stillwater, Okla., and we’ll have live updates throughout the day. For a preview of Alabama vs. Arizona and  TV information check out our story from this morning. The lineup (with pre-tournament rankings): Lauren Stephenson (3) vs. Yu-Sang Hou (31) Kristen Gillman...
More Stories