Cincinnati Bearcats at East Carolina Pirates Preview
Cincinnati enters this game with an overall record of 9-10, and they have gone just 7-6 in American Conference games. The Bearcats were expected to struggle a bit this season, but things have gone even worse than expected.
East Carolina has been even worse than Cincinnati, going just 8-9 and having just two conference wins. The Pirates have lost three straight games but do have some impressive wins on their resume.
The Cincinnati Bearcats are 1.5-point favorites over East Carolina in this game.
Bearcats Struggling to Score
Cincinnati has not been an explosive offensive team in recent seasons, but this year it has been even harder to put the ball in the basket. The Bearcats are averaging just 69 points per game, and that won’t get the job done most nights.
Guard Keith Williams leads the team with 14.9 points per game, but the Bearcats lack that true dominant scorer late in games. Cincinnati has not shot the ball well of late, and that could be a problem on Sunday.
Cincinnati is also allowing over 72 points per game, and their defense has not been ready to play of late. The Bearcats need to improve on both ends of the floor if they want to make a run next week.
Pirates Can Defend
The East Carolina Pirates don’t do a ton of things well as a team, but they have been one of the better defensive teams in the conference. East Carolina is allowing less than 67 points per game, and that defense could give Cincinnati fits on Sunday.
Just like Cincinnati, the Pirates have had a real tough time finding any offense this season. East Carolina is scoring just 66 points per game, and they have not been scoring the ball well during this recent losing streak.
Forward Jayden Gardner leads the team with 18 points per game, and he has the ability to take over a game at any time. The Bearcats need to find a way to slow Gardner down and force the Pirates to take tough shots.
Looking to Build Momentum
The Cincinnati Bearcats still have a chance to make the NCAA Tournament this season, but they are going to have to win the conference tournament. Not many people will give the Bearcats a chance to pull that off, but a win in this game could provide some much-needed momentum.
East Carolina has really struggled of late, and they don’t have the feel of a team capable of going on a big run. This is the perfect opportunity for Cincinnati, and they are taking on the Pirates at the right time.
Winning hasn’t come easy for Cincinnati, but they are the better team in this matchup. If the Bearcats are able to shoot the ball well, then they should come away with the win.
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