Final Score: 61-44
First Half: 31-23, Cincinnati
Second Half: 30-21, Cincinnati
Largest Margin: 17, Cincinnati (Twice)
Entering this game, the Cincinnati Bearcats were seeded ninth and the Providence Friars were seeded eighth. Cincinnati was a marginally better out-of-conference team, however, which suggested that they were the better squad.
Less than seven minutes into this game, we had our answer—they are.
The Bearcats jumped out to a 13-2 lead behind a balanced offensive attack. Even as Providence began to close the gap, Cincinnati refused to let up.
With JaQuon Parker lighting it up from beyond the arc, Cincinnati led 28-11 with 4:30 remaining in the first half.
Providence closed out the first half on a 12-3 run, thus creating momentum entering the second half. They kept it close, as neither team managed to score very often as Cincinnati led 43-37 with 4:46 remaining.
Out of nowhere, Cincinnati closed out on an 18-7 run. They led from wire-to-wire and, at times, dominated a team that was supposed to be their equal.
An impressive win by a team that was looking to pad their NCAA tournament resume. That they did.