Scouting Report: Cincinnati Bearcats

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Image via celestehopkins (Flickr creative commons)

With the Tigers’ first NCAA tournament game fast approaching, it’s time to take a look at what (or, more specifically WHO) they’re up against. Here’s how the Bearcats of Cincinnati stack up against other Division I teams, according to Ken Pomeroy’s advanced college basketball analysis:

Offensive Efficiency – 55
Defensive Efficiency – 15
Tempo – 289
Field Goal % – 158
Turnover % – 169
Offensive Rebound % – 10
Defensive Rebound % – 100
Strength of Schedule (based on opponent’s offense) – 58
Strength of Schedule (based on opponent’s defense) – 73
Strength of Schedule (overall) – 66
Experience Level – 117

And here is how Mizzou stacks up in those same categories (green text = superior, red text = inferior):

Offensive Efficiency – 28
Defensive Efficiency – 53
Tempo – 13
Field Goal % – 58
Turnover % – 20
Offensive Rebound % – 170
Defensive Rebound % – 313
Strength of Schedule (based on opponent’s offense) – 51
Strength of Schedule (based on opponent’s defense) – 71
Strength of Schedule (overall) – 58
Experience Level – 188

Though the Tigers appear to have a statistical edge, victory is by no means guaranteed. Thursday’s game is, for all intents and purposes, a road game. The neutral site in Washington, D.C. is significantly closer to Cincinnati than it is to Columbia (400 miles vs. 823 miles), and the Tigers have generally played poorly on the road this season, winning only one conference game away from Mizzou Arena.

The Bearcats are also a much stronger rebounding team, and when Mizzou struggles to win the battle on the boards, it struggles to win. If the Tigers want to have a shot at extending their season and advancing to the next round (where they will likely meet UConn and superstar Kemba Walker), they will have to win the tempo and turnover categories and play solid defense as well.

This looks like a winnable game for the Tigers, but their mediocre performance in the final stretch of the season coupled with their shaky road play doesn’t inspire much confidence. Check back with KBIA Sports Extra after Thursday’s game for analysis.

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