This season has been so much fun for Bearcats fans and the team seems to be riding a high heading into the conference tournament and ultimately, into the NCAA March Madness Tournament. The Bearcats boasted a 27-4 record and an undefeated 18-0 at Fifth Third Arena. Led by seniors Troy Caupain and Kevin Johnson, the Bearcats are looking better than ever and are ready to make a deep run in this year’s tournament.
The number one reason why the Bearcats have clicked this year has been chemistry. I have heard Mick Cronin say it over and over again that this group of players truly enjoy being around one another and truly enjoy playing together. There are no rotten apples that hold the team back from greatness and everyone has sacrificed something in order to be in the position that they are today.
There is a new energy around Bearcats basketball this season and that has been fueled by the excellent play of NC State Transfer Kyle Washington and the influx of talented freshmen in Jarron Cumberland, Nysier Brooks and the red-shirted Tre Scott. These four players have really been like the Energizer bunny for this team and have sparked this impression season.
It has not been all fun and games though, there were a few bumps along the way like losses to SMU, UCF and Butler, but the team didn’t let these losses demoralize them, rather, they used them to help motivate themselves and improve. This team did not lose back-to-back games all season and that has allowed them to continue on their upward trajectory.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, this team is fun. They play with a love for the game that really amplifies the fan experience. I went to every home game this year and there was never a dull moment. Beating Xavier, SMU, Houston, UCONN; all these games were meaningful and helped create an excitement around Bearcats basketball that I have yet to see since I have been here.
Cincinnati is primed for a deep run and they are looking better than ever right now. This year in the tournament there is no clear cut favorite, and just like every year, upsets will happen. Analysts are projected a record-breaking number of upsets this year and if the Bearcats are able to weather the storm, I think this might be their year.