It was Senior Night at Cincinnati, and the Bearcats decided to celebrate with a rare offensive explosion. Sean Kilpatrick scored 34 points and Titus Rubles chipped in 24 points as the Bearcats scored a season-high 97 points in beating the Memphis Tigers 97-84.
The Bearcats, who are known as one of the better defensive teams in the country, shot an amazing 53.3 percent from the field and committed only three turnovers against a Memphis defense that was disconnected and passive. It was exactly the type of defense you hope to play against on Senior Night.
Rubles and Kilpatrick scored lay-up after lay-up in front of a sold-out Fifth Third Arena crowd that was boisterous and ready to give this Bearcats senior class a proper sendoff. Kilpatrick, as he has done all season for the Bearcats, matched the raucous crowd with his play. Rubles and fellow senior Justin Jackson dominated the paint, keeping the Tigers off the glass and limiting second-chance points.
Saturday now becomes a one-game playoff for the AAC title between the Bearcats and the Louisville Cardinals. Both teams sit atop the standings at 14-3, but Louisville holds the tiebreaker. Cincinnati will need to win against Rutgers on Saturday and hope the Cardinals lose to Connecticut if they are to hoist the regular season trophy.
It’s fitting that the AAC regular season title will be decided on the last day of the season. It’s been a great year in the AAC as they are currently the only conference in the country with five teams in the AP Top 25. It should be a fantastic conclusion to what has become one of the premier conferences in college basketball.