No.25 Cincinnati vs Memphis Preview and Prediction
No.25 Cincinnati vs Memphis Preview
If Memphis is going to pull the upset and stop their two-game slide they will need to come out blazing in the first half–something they haven’t done well lately.
Despite leading the AAC in scoring at 82.8 points per game the Tigers have been outscored by 17 and 25 points in the first halves of their last two games against Tulsa and South Florida, respectively. They also have not hit the 80-point plateau in their last four games.
Martin went for 41 — all in the second half — in the Tigers’ 84-78 loss to South Florida on Saturday. That six-point margin is impressive when you see the halftime score was 38-13 and USF went on a 26-1 run to open the game.
Martin moved into 21st on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,275 points. His effort set a school record for points in a half and was the first 40-point performance by a Tigers player since Marcus Moody scored 41 in 1997.
“It really doesn’t feel good because we lost,” Martin said after the game. “If we would have won, it would have been great, I would have been happy.”
The Tigers lost despite forcing USF into 30 turnovers.
Martin also leads the team in assists (4.3) and steals (2.4) per game.
The Bearcats come in hot and ranked for the first time this season.
Winners of seven consecutive games, Cincinnati is 8-1 in the surprisingly highly competitive AAC (unless you’re Tulane)…
The Bearcats (19-3) entered the Top 25 for the first time all season and embark on a two-game road trip that starts against the Tigers and ends at No. 12 Houston on Sunday. The Bearcats and Cougars are tied atop the American Athletic Conference at 8-1.
Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin couldn’t care less about the Top 25.
“I’m more worried about Selection Sunday,” Cronin said Monday. “… I don’t worry about the Top 25 rankings. I’d rather win on gameday. I don’t say this to be condescending, but what writers think about us or any team, they’re not in the room on Selection Sunday … It’s exciting for your fans and for your players and stuff like that.”
Will the Bearcats be looking past Memphis to Houston on Sunday? It’s possible.
Cincy leans heavily on superstar junior guard Jarron Cumberland, second in the AAC in scoring at 18.7 points per game. He’s scored 23 points or more in three straight games and notched a season-high 34 points on Jan. 15 against South Florida.
Cumberland scored 24 to rally the Bearcats to a 73-68 win over SMU on Saturday.
LINE: -3 Cincinnati
Dan’s Bet: Under 149
Score Prediction: Cincinnati 73 Memphis 71