When are people going to start talking about Cincinnati as a national title contender? The Bearcats are up to No. 6 in the nation but get very little national respect. They should have little trouble Tuesday night with AAC foe Central Florida in town as a big NCAA Basketball lines underdog.
How to Bet UCF at Cincinnati NCAA Basketball Lines & Game Infowww.cbssports.com/watch/cbssportsnetwork/Radio: 740 AM (UCF) / Bearcat IMG Sports Network (Cincinnati)Opening NCAA Basketball Lines: UC -16
First MeetingCincinnati visited Central Florida on Jan. 16 and won 49-38 in maybe the ugliest college basketball game of the season from an offensive perspective. Gary Clark had 17 points and pulled down 15 rebounds. Jacob Evans had 10 points for Cincinnati. No Central Florida player had more than seven points. The Knights hit just 30 percent of their field goal attempts (15 of 50). UCF made a brief run when Tacko Fall’s three baskets cut the deficit to 39-36, but the rally died when the Knights center missed two free throws on the next possession.Cincinnati owns a 9-1 advantage over UCF in the all-time series, having only been defeated in the game late last season. The Bearcats have won all three games played in Cincinnati.
Why Bet on Central Florida?UCF lost its most important player, Fall, not long after that game to a season-ending shoulder injury. The 7-foot-6 center had been fighting through the injury all year, but the pain became too much to handle. Fall competed for 24 minutes during the first game vs. Cincinnati. His junior season ended with 31 blocks and he averaged 7.3 rebounds and 11.3 ppg. He was one of the nation’s best field goal shooters having completed 76 percent of his shots through 16 games played.UCF (14-8, 5-5 AAC) lost at home to Houston on Saturday, 69-65. The Cougars led the whole way and were up 10 with 15:21 remaining before the Knights got within two, the final time at 63-61 on B.J. Taylor’s bucket with 2:13 left. A.J. Davis had 13 points and 10 rebounds with Taylor adding 15 points and Ceasar DeJesus and Davon Griffin 10 points each for UCF.Taylor is now back in what has seemed like full rhythm, averaging 18.0 points and 4.0 assists per game over the last four contests after missing time due to inury. The point guard put up 25 in a win at USF and had 20 in a recent victory over UConn. Davis is second in the league with 8.1 rebounds per game. UCF is third in the nation, holding opponents to 60.6 points per game.
Why Bet on Cincinnati?Though it is technically a home game, Tuesday’s contest will be played at Northern Kentucky’s BB&T Arena due to renovations at Firth Third Arena. The only two losses for Cincinnati (21-2, 10-0) were in early December to Xavier and Florida. The No. 6 ranking is UC’s best since 2004. The Bearcats have been ranked in the AP poll for 29 consecutive weeks, the longest streak of the Mick Cronin coaching era (since 2006-07).Cincinnati won a 14th straight game on Saturday, 65-57 at UConn. They grabbed an early 13-0 lead, and in the process prevented a frenzied “Whiteout” crowd from being a factor. UC scored come-from-behind wins in each of its first three AAC road games this season. UC trailed at Temple by eight points (won 55-53), fell behind South Florida by 10 points (won 78-55), and trailed Central Florida by nine points (won 49-38). That was one reason why Saturday’s 13-0 getaway was so important.Clark had just five points and six rebounds Saturday. Clark played 34 minutes and attempted only three field goals, making one. The five points were a season-low for Clark. “In fairness, Gary Clark is tired,” Cronin said. “I need to give him a break. If I had it to do over again, I could have rested him a little more (Saturday).”Jacob Evans III scored 19 points and Kyle Washington added 13 points and 11 rebounds for Cincy, which struggled at times but never trailed. The Bearcats boast one of the nation’s toughest defenses, second in the nation in both scoring defense (56.8 points allowed) and field-goal percentage defense (.366), and are posting the best offensive numbers of the Cronin coaching era in points (76.5 per game), field goal percentage (.458) three-point percentage (.371) and assists per game (16.3).A win against UCF would tie the team’s longest winning streak in the 12-years since Cronin took over as head coach. The school record for consecutive wins is 37, during the 1961-62 and 1962-63 seasons.
Latest NCAA Basketball Lines Trends
- Central Florida is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games
- Central Florida is 10-5 SU in its last 15 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Central Florida’s last 9 games when playing Cincinnati
- Cincinnati is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games
- Cincinnati is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Cincinnati’s last 6 games