UCF at Cincinnati Odds, Free Pick & TV Info
Why isn’t anyone talking about No. 11 Cincinnati as a legitimate Final Four team and a potential No. 1 seed in the Big Dance? The Bearcats are unbeaten in the American Athletic Conference and have just two losses all season. They host a dangerous Central Florida team on Wednesday, but UC will be solid favored on NCAA basketball odds.
UCF at Cincinnati Odds, Free Pick & TV Info
When: Wednesday, Feb. 8, 9 PM ET
Where: Fifth Third Arena, Cincinnati
Radio: UCF / Cincinnati
Opening NCAAB Lines: Cincinnati favored by TBA
Why Bet On Central Florida?
UCF (15-8) just routed a good Memphis team 72-57 on Saturday, leading wire-to- wire to end a four- game losing streak. The Knights jumped out to a 14-0 lead. In the epitome of a team effort, all five UCF starters scored during the four minute and 45 second spurt to start the game. Stretching their lead to 17 points by halftime, at 43-26, the Knights remained focused on keeping the Tigers at bay in the final 20 minutes.
The Knights shot over 50 percent for the seventh time this season, finishing the night 23-of- 43 from the floor for 53.5 percent. UCF was also 8-of- 16 from the three-point line. The team’s 14 assists were the most since the Jan. 17 win over USF. Matt Williams led four Knights in double figures with 20 points on 5-of- 8 shooting from beyond the arc. It marked his eighth game this season with five or more three-pointers. B.J. Taylor added 16 points and seven rebounds, Tacko Fall totaled 15 points, nine boards and four blocked shots, and Davis finished with 11 points and a team high four assists.
“I think it was one of our best performances this year,” Coach Johnny Dawkins said. “I think from beginning to end our guys were really focused, especially on the defensive end. We challenged them, because of the last few games we had and the scores that we gave up. I thought our guys really responded to it and it led to some good offense for us.”
The Tigers had won 21 of 22 meetings with UCF prior to Saturday. The last UCF win against Memphis was a 68-67 home win back in 2012. At 15-8 overall UCF already has its most wins in a season since 2012-13. The Knights’ 6-5 start to league play has tied the team’s most American Athletic Conference victories in a season (6-12, 2015-16).
UCF’s defense has been impressive in holding opponents to a nation’s best 35.6 field goal percentage. The Knights are fifth nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 61.1 ppg. UCF is strong defending the three-point line as well, currently leading the AAC and ranking ninth in the country at 29.9 percent.
Why Bet On Cincinnati?
UC (21-2) handled Connecticut 82-68 on Saturday. The Bearcats were up six with 18 1/2 minutes to play, before they broke it open with an 11-0 spurt. The Bearcats’ versatile big men Kyle Washington (27 points, eight rebounds) and Gary Clark (20 and 11, with three assists and two blocks) killed the Huskies on the boards, in the lane and even on the perimeter. UConn’s best scoring big man, Kentan Facey, had a tough time converting around the basket, shooting 1-for- 8. Both Amida Brimah and Facey stayed out of foul trouble, but that was little comfort in this game; Cincinnati had a 35-29 edge in rebounding.
Freshman Jarron Cumberland scored 15 points off the bench for the Bearcats, who shot 58.6 percent in the second half and made 12 of 26 3-point shots. Sophomore guard Jacob Evans, UC’s leading scorer with 14.1 points per game, failed to score for only the second time in his UC career, despite playing 30 minutes.
Clark is shooting a team-best 60.6 percent (63 of 104) while averaging 11.3 points and a team-best 7.9 rebounds during UC’s current 14-game win streak. The junior is averaging 10.2 points and a team-best 7.5 rebounds on the season. Clark ranks among the league leaders in field goal percentage (second at .582), offensive rebounds (second at 3.2), rebounds (fifth at 7.5) and blocks (10th at 1.2).
Washington leads the Bearcats in scoring this season, averaging 13.7 points and shooting 54.2 percent (130-240) from the field while averaging 7.0 rebounds. He ranks among the league leaders in field goal percentage (fourth at .542), double-doubles (tied for fifth with six), blocks (sixth at 1.5), points (12th at 13.7) and rebounds (12th at 7.0).
The Bearcats own a 7-0 edge in the all-time series vs. UCF, which was just one 1983 contest before the two teams joined the American Athletic Conference for the 2013-14 season. Cincinnati has a 2-0 advantage in games at Fifth Third Arena, winning 69-51 in 2014 and 83-60 in 2015.
UCF at Cincinnati Free Pick: Cincinnati Bearcats
Go Cincinnati to cover the NCAA betting spread.