The Cincinnati Bearcats coming off of a hard-fought win in the quarterfinals against the UCF Knights, all Cincy needed to do was get past a scrappy Connecticut Huskies team in the semis. But after 40 minutes of play, the Bearcats came up two points short as UConn will move on to the AAC Final against Louisville by a score of 58-56.
The poor shooting that almost cost Cincinnati a win in last night's game followed suit in this game as well. The Bearcats just did not seem comfortable offensively out on the floor all night as they shot 38% (22-58) from the field compared to UConn's 44% (18-41). But the statistic that should be very worrisome to Bearcat fans going forward is that UConn went 15-for-18 (83.3%) from the free throw line while the Bearcats shot a miserable 6-for-13 (46.2%) from the charity stripe. In UC's last game against UCF, they shot only 61% from the line which is very concerning.
Senior leader Sean Kilpatrick managed to put up 14 points, but once again, his efficiency was awful. He shot 5-for-15 from the field and 2-for-7 from the three-point line. But the worst miss out of all of them was with less than ten seconds left in the game. UC was down by two. Kilpatrick dribbled the ball up court and drove to the basket with Shabazz Napier defending him. He went in for a layup with a good look, it took three bounces on the rim, but didn't fall through in heartbreaking fashion.
AAC Player of the Year Shabazz Napier finished with 15 points and hit the clutch shots needed to secure a spot in the AAC Championship game against 2 seed Louisville. Meanwhile for the Bearcats, they will head back to Cincinnati for the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday to find out who will be their first opponent in the Big Dance and what seed they will be. The run for an AAC Championship is over. The run for an NCAA Championship now begins.