CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati men’s basketball team returns to the NCAA Championship for the fourth straight season with a second-round game against Harvard on Thursday March 20 at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena (12,210) in Spokane, Wash. The Bearcats will play at 2:10pm with the action on 700 WLW.
UC (27-6) is the No. 5 seed while the Crimson (26-4) are the No. 12 seed. No. 4 Michigan State and No. 13 Delaware are the other two East Region teams in Spokane.
The Bearcats finished the regular season with a 27-6 mark, their best regular-season record since the 2001-02 campaign. UC finished with 15 American Athletic Conference wins, the second-most league victories in school history. Head Coach Mick Cronin was named the American Coach of the Year, Justin Jackson (Cocoa Beach, Fla./Arlington Country Day) was named the conference’s defensive player of the year and Sean Kilpatrick (Yonkers, N.Y./Notre Dame Prep) was a unanimous First-Team All-AAC selection and has been tabbed for multiple All-America teams.
Harvard is 26-4 on the year, winners of the Ivy League. The Crimson, coached by Tommy Amaker, closed the season on an eight-game winning streak. The two teams' only common opponent was UConn with the Crimson falling 61-56 in Hartford, Conn. UC faced the Huskies three times, with each team winning on its home court and UConn earning the win in the American Athletic Conference Championship semifinal. Harvard averaged 73.6 ppg and was +3.0 on the rebounding margin. Five players average double-digits with junior guard Wesley Saunders (14.0) leading the way. Sophomore guard Siyani Chambers (11.1), junior forward Steve Moundou-Missi (10.5), senior forward Kyle Casey (10.0) and senior guard Laurent Rivard (10.0) also average double figures. Moundou-Missi and Casey pace the Crimson, pulling down 5.8 and 5.7 rebounds per game, respectively.
The Bearcats and Crimson have met once on the hardwood, at the neutral site Volunteer Classic on Dec. 13, 1974 with Harvard earning a 77-76 win.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
The Bearcats are making their 28th overall appearance in the NCAA Championship, fourth consecutive and 18th in the past 23 seasons. UC has compiled a 43-26 record on the way to winning two National Championships (1961 & 1962), making eight regional finals (1959-63, 1992-93, 1996) and six Final Fours (1959-63, 1992).
Cincinnati is 2-1 as the No. 5 seed in the NCAA Championship and hold a 6-3 mark in East Region games.
CINCINNATI’S CITY TIES
UC is 1-1 all-time in games in the state of Washington, playing the University of Washington in Seattle twice. The Bearcats are 1-2 vs. Gonzaga all-time but have never played a game in Spokane with all three matchups against the Bulldogs coming at neutral sites.
The UC Athletics Ticket Office was allocated a very limited number of tickets for the second round games in Spokane. Based on such limited availability, UCATS Director's Society members, George Smith Society members and patrons contributing at $3,500 and above will receive priority in the allocation process. Other donors interested in ordering tickets can call the Athletics Ticket Office at 513-556-2287 to be placed on the waitlist Monday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Second and third round tickets are $70 apiece at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. All tickets will be available at the will call window in Spokane beginning approximately two hours prior to tipoff. The location will be determined at a later date and sent via e-mail to all patrons who purchase tickets. A photo ID will be required to claim the tickets. Ticket purchase rights are non-transferable.
Tickets for games in Spokane are still available for public purchase by calling 1-877-NCAA-TIX (877-622-2849) or visiting www.ticketmaster.com.