Something has to give in Dallas tonight when the American Athletic Conference leader and seventh-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats invade Moody Coliseum, home of the Southern Methodist Mustangs, who are 6-0 on their home floor this season.
The Bearcats have are riding a 15-game winning streak but will have their hands full with Larry Brown‘s SMU team that’s won seven of its past eight. Since they opened the doors to the brand new Moody Coliseum on January 4, against Connecticut, the Mustangs have made it a house of horrors for visitors. Not only are they a undefeated in six games at home, but they’ve covered in each win, including their most recent win, a 23-point drubbing of Temple.
If you’ve seen Mick Cronin‘s Bearcats play, you know the main focus for any opponent in 24-year-old senior Sean Kilpatrick, who’s averaging a career and conference best 19.7 points per game. He’s coming off arguably his best game of the season in a comeback-win over Connecticut as he poured in 26 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and handed out six assists. The Bearcats will need every one of those points and then some if they expect to leave Dallas with a win.
The Mustangs don’t have the stud scorer like Cincinnati, in fact only Nic Moore (13.7 ppg) and Markus Kennedy (12.2 ppg) average better than ten a game, yet they average just under three points better per game that the Bearcats.
Cincinnati’s stout defense is allowing just 56.8 points per contest, good for fourth in the NCAA, but don’t think the Bearcats will be the only ones in Big D who can play defense. SMU is 16th in the nation, allowing just 61.3 points per game.
The Mustangs will rely on their staunch defense and raucous home crowd as they look to defend their home court. First team to 50 points might win this one and let’s not forget the fact that SMU has covered (as the favorite) in all six games at Moody this year.
The line in this one? SMU is a 3.5-point favorite. Saddle up!
Follow Ryan Darcy on Twitter @MisterDarcy_22