This game pits two conference foes against one another, which is the earliest it has ever happened in the NCAA tournament.
With 11 Big East teams in the tournament, the committee was unable to avoid early conference matchups.
These two teams only played once this year, with UConn taking a 67-59 win at Cincy. While it is unfair to consider UConn a one-man team, their fate does rest in Kemba Walker’s super-scoring hands. With 13 points, he will become the all-time points leader in Huskies history.
Cincy will look to hold him in check, which they had some success with in the earlier meeting. If they can repeat that performance, then Jeremy Lamb and Alex Oriakhi will need to step up.
The Bearcats are a defensive-minded team that is also dangerous beyond the three-point line. They boast five players as legitimate three-point threats. They also grab an amazing 14 steals a game, which means that they can press the pace after a steal to find one of their three-point weapons, who should have an open look.
UConn comes in as the three seed, but can Walker do enough to keep the team going? The Bearcats will be a tough out and could definitely pull off the upset in this one, but UConn should hang on for the win.