Monday, February 26, 2001

UC needs help for C-USA title


Bearcats (9-5) one game behind Memphis (10-4)

By Michael Perry
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The University of Cincinnati is going to need some help in the next six days if it is to share a piece of the Conference USA regular-season title.

        With Memphis' victory late Sunday night over South Florida, the Tigers are 10-4 in the league. If they win at Southern Mississippi (Wednesday night) and at Louisville (Saturday), they will dethrone the five-time defending champion Bear cats.

        If Memphis should lose a game or two, the title is up for grabs.

        UC, Southern Miss, Marquette and South Florida are tied for second place overall in C-USA at 9-5.

        The Bearcats (19-8) already have had some help in the past two nights. Louisville upset Marquette in triple overtime Saturday night, and Saint Louis ripped Charlotte on Sunday night.

        Cincinnati finishes its regular season at South Florida on Thursday night, then at DePaul on Saturday.

        “Everything counts,” junior guard Steve Logan said. “Every time you walk in that locker room, you've got to be ready to give everything you've got. This is the time. It's going to be fun.”

        Some of the scenarios if the Bearcats win out and finish 11-5:

        • They would at least tie for the American Division title with Marquette, which is also 9-5. The Golden Eagles would win a tiebreaker with UC because it beat the Bearcats twice.

        • They would earn a first-round bye in the conference tournament.

        • They would need a Memphis loss to at least share the regular-season title.

        “It gives us something to work for,” junior Jamaal Davis said.

        UC was in a similar race for the C-USA regular-season title two seasons ago, only fewer teams were involved and the Bearcats were able to determine their own fate.

        They went on the road for their final two games, to South Florida and Memphis, and needed two victories to ensure at least a share of the league championship. UC won both games, Louisville was upset by Southern Mississippi and Cincinnati won the regular-season title outright.

        It is probable several teams will end up tied with the best or second-best records. The tiebreaking scenarios are many.

        The Bearcats would be in much better position had they not lost to Marquette in overtime Feb.18 at Shoemaker Center.

        “I know if we would've won the Marquette game, we wouldn't have to sit around and wait for somebody to lose,” UC sophomore Kenny Satterfield said.

       



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