The No. 21 Notre Dame Fighting Irish and No. 14 Cincinnati Bearcats will go head-to-head this week in Cincinnati. Although neither team entered the 2012-13 college basketball season as a favorite to win the Big East title, both teams have gotten the country’s attention and both teams are capable of competing for a title.
The Bearcats had quite the ride, winning their first 12 games of the season before losing to the New Mexico Lobos. Although Cincinnati started the season off on fire, it did not get its first win against a ranked opponent until it played the No. 24 Pittsburgh Panthers to open conference play. However, Cincinnati followed that game up by losing to the St. John’s Red Storm by one point.
As for the Fighting Irish, they are 13-1 on the year, with their biggest win of the season coming against the No. 8 Kentucky Wildcats at the time. Notre Dame tore up Seton Hall to open up conference play by the score of 93-74.
Really either team could win between Notre Dame and Cincinnati, but the Bearcats must find a way to contain Jack Cooley, who is averaging 15.5 points per game and 11.4 rebounds per game.
Likewise, Notre Dame will have to contain Cincinnati’s leading scorer. Sean Kilpatrick is leading the Bearcats, with 17.9 points per game.
Cincinnati will have the advantage, since it will be playing at home, and it will also have an advantage on the boards. The Bearcats are third in the country in rebounding, with 44.5 rebounds per game.
However, Notre Dame is known for its passing, being the No. 1 team in the nation when it comes to assists.
Whether the case, this will be a battle between two very good Big East teams. Game time will tip off on Mon. Jan 7, at 6:30 p.m. ET.