Honestly. Probably not. Cincinnati is losing two good players in Cashmere Wright and JaQuon Parker and they finished with a 22-12 record last year. It will help that leading scorer Sean Kilpatrick will be back, though.
Cincinnati could easily make it into the top 25 at some point in the season, but it is not worthy of being ranked as of right now. There are currently only three ranked teams in the conference. Louisville is No. 3, Memphis is No. 13 and Connecticut is No. 19. Those rankings will more than likely mean nothing once conference play begins.
The American is probably not the best team in college hoops, but it could very easily get four teams into this year’s dance. Maybe more.
The Bearcats won’t be overly challenged in their non-conference schedule, but they will play enough tough competition to crack the top 25–assuming they don’t lose too many games.
This will be an interesting season for Cincy and the AAC in general. Louisville is the favorite for the conference title, but the Cardinals are not alone in the American.
Being ranked to start the season probably feels great, but Cincy is not deserving right now. However, that does not mean that the Bearcats will have a bad season and that does not mean that they will miss out on the 2014 NCAA Tournament.