UCF Knights are Red-Hot as they Host the Bearcats
The Cincinnati Bearcats and the Central Florida Knights will meet on Thursday when they battle at CFE Arena. This matchup should be a close one and will have major implications on the AAC Conference Tournament and possible NCAA Tournament seedings for both teams.
Central Florida took down the top team in the American Athletic Conference, they also had the best record in the nation, on Saturday as the Knights upended then-No. 8 Houston 69-64. UCF returns home looking to repeat that success on Thursday when it faces No. 19 Cincinnati. The Bearcats benefited from that big Knights win as the Bearcats moved into a tie with Houston atop the conference after defeating Memphis 71-69.
The Knights have been making noise all season and they sit in third place in the American. Their road victory at Houston, which came in with the longest home winning streak in the nation (33 games), could be the one that catapults them into the NCAA Tournament. They would make the tourney for the first time in 15 years. The Knights have won three in a row. Their last loss came against these Bearcats two weeks ago (60-55). Cincinnati retained its hold on this rivalry with 11 wins in the 12 all-time meetings. UCF’s lone victory (53-49) came over a ranked Bearcats squad in 2017. The Bearcats are aiming for back-to-back league championships for the first time since 2001 and 2002 in Conference USA and it could come down to the regular-season finale on Sunday at home against Houston.
This, That, and a Dart Throw
The Cincinnati Bearcats are 25-4 overall and 14-2 in the American Athletic Conference. The Bearcats continue to win the tight ones. Their last four games have been decided by five points or less, including the win over UCF, and 11 overall for the year. Guard Jarron Cumberland remains one of the top players in the nation. He comes off a 26-point performance against Memphis, giving him 14 20-point games this season. The Knights held him to 11 points in the first meeting. Cumberland (41.1) is second in the conference in 3-point shooting percentage. He is tbehind teammate Justin Jenifer (43.8), who has hit 27 of his last 60 attempts from deep over his last 11 games.
The UCF Knights are 22-6 overall and 12-4 in the AAC. Guards B.J. Taylor and Aubrey Dawkins each scored 11 points against Houston. Big men Collin Smith and Tacko Fall took charge, combining for 34 points and 17 rebounds. Smith totaled a season-high 21 points and seven boards while Fall produced his fifth double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) of the season. Cincinnati contained Fall in the first meeting. They limited the 7-6 center to just seven points and four rebounds. Dawkins was the high scorer with 18 points, 15 in the second half. This is the final home game for Fall and Taylor. Taylor has led UCF in scoring the last three seasons and now has a team-high 16.3 points per game to rank ninth in the conference.
PREDICTION: UCF 77, Cincinnati 71
NCAA Basketball Betting Odds & Trends
|Cincinnati is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games|
|Cincinnati is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games|
|The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Cincinnati’s last 7 games|
|Cincinnati is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games on the road|
|Cincinnati is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games on the road|
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Cincinnati’s last 6 games on the road|
|Cincinnati is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games when playing Central Florida|
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Cincinnati’s last 5 games when playing Central Florida|
|Cincinnati is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Central Florida|
|Cincinnati is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Central Florida|
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Cincinnati’s last 5 games when playing on the road against Central Florida|
|Central Florida is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games|
|Central Florida is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games|
|The total has gone OVER in 7 of Central Florida’s last 9 games|
|Central Florida is 14-1 SU in its last 15 games at home|
|The total has gone OVER in 5 of Central Florida’s last 5 games at home|
|Central Florida is 1-10 SU in its last 11 games when playing Cincinnati|
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Central Florida’s last 5 games when playing Cincinnati|
|Central Florida is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing at home against Cincinnati|
|Central Florida is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Cincinnati|
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Central Florida’s last 5 games when playing at home against Cincinnati|
Get Free 1/2 point on two teams plus 150% Cash on first two deposits at GTBets
Cincinnati home to Houston Sunday, March 10
Central Florida at Temple Saturday, March 9