Cincinnati Bearcats: Free Throws, Free Throws, Free Throws

Michael GalloContributor IJanuary 31, 2010

NEW YORK - MARCH 10:  Head coach Mick Cronin of the Cincinnati Bearcats gestures from the sidelines against the DePaul Blue Demons during the first round of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 10, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)
Michael Heiman/Getty Images

When watching the Cincinnati Bearcats play, one thing that seems to come to mind is the lack of free throws. Two games that come to mind would be the loss to rival Xavier Musketeers and the more recent near-loss to the Providence Friars. In both of those games, the 'Cats shot under .500 percent.

In the double OT loss to Xavier, the 'Cats shot 10-22 from the free throw line, that's .455 percent. In a rivalry game, especially a close rivalry game, you cannot afford to miss 12 free throws. Cincinnati ended up losing by four to the Musketeers. If you make at least half of those 12 misses, the game probably doesn't even end up going to OT, much less a second OT.

Finally, in last night's win against the Providence Friars, the 'Cats shot 20-41 from the line, that's .488 percent, and 21 points left at the free throw line. Missing 21 free throws is the only reason the game was even close, instead of a double-digit victory, they had to hold on for a four point victory.

When you play in arguably the best league in all of college basketball, you cannot struggle from the free throw line. Although they did improve from the line after the Xavier loss, they still struggled against Providence. If they want to have a chance to make a run in the Big East conference and tournament, they must make their free throws.