CINCINNATI — Beating Houston for their second straight American Athletic Conference Tournament championship Sunday didn't raise UC's seeding in the NCAA Tournament field. But the Bearcats got a consolation prize.
Cincinnati, a No. 7 seed, gets a short drive to Columbus, Ohio, to play 10th-seed Iowa at 12:15 p.m. Friday in the South Region on CBS. Win that game and the Bearcats could face No. 2 -seed Tennessee with a chance to make up for that ugly second-round meltdown against Nevada last year.
SEE, PRINT the NCAA bracket.
“We have to be unsatisfied," UC coach Mick Cronin said after beating Houston Sunday. "We have to put this to bed and have a team dinner tomorrow and make a pact to be hungry. And we have to be the hardest to beat team that plays in the NCAA Tournament."
Other area teams, seeds and pairings (Click on team names to learn more about them):
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Northern Kentucky, a 14th seed, plays No. 3 seed Texas Tech at 1:30 p.m. ET Friday at Tulsa in the West Region. TNT will telecast. The Norse are back in The Dance for the second time in three years after losing to Kentucky in 2017.
There's nothing easy about being a 14th seed, especially when you're the last team called on the Selection Sunday show.
"I started to get nervous," coach John Brannen said, even though the Norse punched their ticket by winning the Horizon League tournament last week. "My daughter looked at me and said, 'Daddy, we are in the tournament, aren't we?' Obviously, taking the next step as a program and consistently making NCAA tournaments and seeing that name pop up is such a big deal."
Xavier is a No. 3 seed in the NIT and will host Toledo at 7 p.m. Wednesday night (ESPN3). XU could have a third-round matchup with longtime rival Dayton or top-seeded Alabama. The Musketeers, an NCAA No. 1 seed last year, were left out of the 68-team field for only the second time in 13 years.
SEE, PRINT the NIT bracket.
It probably shouldn't be a surprise that the 28-6 Bearcats, projected a No. 5 seed by Jerry Palm of CBS Sports and a No. 7 by Joe Lunardi of ESPN, landed where they did despite their 69-57 win over Houston. The Cougars (31-3) still got a No. 3 seed, as projected. But expect Cronin to say a few words about that.