Alex Frank | Sports Director
After winning three of their first four games at home to start their 2018-19 regular season, the Cincinnati Bearcats men’s basketball team will now be on the road for the first time this season when they compete in the Emerald Coast Classic this weekend in Niceville, Florida.
Cincinnati will be taking on the George Mason Patriots tonight at 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
The result of tonight’s game will determine who and when the Bearcats will play on Saturday in either the Baylor Bears or the Ole Miss Rebels, the other semifinal matchup on Friday.
A Bearcats win would advance them to the championship game at 7 p.m. on Saturday while a loss would put them in the consolation game at 4 p.m.. Both games Saturday will also be televised on CBS Sports Network.
About the Emerald Coast Classic
According to its website, emeraldcoastclassic.com, the event is an eight-team tournament held during Thanksgiving with the inaugural tournament taking place in 2014.
Cincinnati has already played two games in the Emerald Coast Classic during the campus-site rounds of the event with wins over North Carolina Central (73-51) and Western Michigan (79-52).
Niceville, Florida, located near Northwest Florida State College, hosts the third and championship rounds.
The event is sponsored by Global Sports.
Look at all four teams
Cincinnati Bearcats (3-1, 0-0 AAC) Head Coach: Mick Cronin (13th season, 271-141) (16th season overall, 340-165)
The Bearcats bounced back from a season-opening loss to Ohio State and have won their last three games.
Once again, the Bearcats defense has been the epicenter of their success as Cincinnati is currently holding its opponents to just 57.5 points per game.
Junior guard Jarron Cumberland, last season’s returning leading scorer, leads the Bearcats with 18.3 points per game while four other players have at least nine points per game.
George Mason Patriots (2-3, 0-0 A10) Head Coach: Dave Paulsen (4th season, 49-55) (25th season overall, 445-269)
The Patriots are the only team in Division I to return all their scoring and players from 2017-18 when they finished 16-17 and in seventh place in the A10.
George Mason was picked to finish fourth this season in the A10 in the preseason but lost their first three games of the regular season.
They have rebounded to win their previous two games over Southern and North Carolina Central in their campus site games of the Emerald Coast Classic.
Junior guard Justin Kier is the Patriots leading scorer, averaging 12.3 points per game.
Baylor Bears (3-1, 0-0 Big 12) Head Coach: Scott Drew (16th season, 301-196) (17th season overall, 321-207)
The Bears are looking to get back to the NCAA Tournament this season after missing it in 2017-18.
After dropping their season opener to Texas Southern, the Bears have won their last three games including blowout wins against Southern and Nicholls State in the Emerald Coast Classic.
Baylor has two players averaging over 14 points a game, leading scorer Devonte Bandoo (Jr. G) and King McClure (Sr. G).
Ole Miss Rebels (2-1, 0-0 SEC) Head Coach: Kermit Davis (1st season, 2-1) (21st season overall, 405-239)
Ole Miss is looking to bounce back this season from a disappointing last place finish in the SEC in 2017-18.
The Rebels have gotten off to a strong start this season with wins against Western Michigan and Nicholls State in the campus-site rounds of the Emerald Coast Classic and played to a close seven-point loss at BIG EAST powerhouse Butler.
Senior guard Terence Davis leads the Rebels with 20.3 points per game.