The Cincinnati Bearcats basketball program has been a very successful one over the years and more success is still to come. On the Ohio-Kentucky border, Cincinnati is in a very basketball crazed area of the country. They are in a city with two top programs which makes the Xavier-Cincinnati rivalry one of the country’s fiercest.
The Bearcats are in the American Athletic Conference which includes some of the best teams in college basketball such as UConn, Memphis, SMU, and Temple along with some up and coming programs like Tulsa, UCF, USF and Houston. UConn won the NCAA Tournament in the first year of the AAC and last season several conference teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament, including the Bearcats.
Cincinnati has won two NCAA Tournaments (1961 and 1962) and played in three National Championship games (1960, 1961 and 1963). They have advanced to the Elite Eight 8 times, five times in the 1960s and three in the 1990s. They have played in the Sweet Sixteen 14 times, the most recent trip being 2012.
The Bearcats have played in the NCAA Tournament in each of the last five seasons and would be a safe bet to get back this year as well. They are tied for 19th place all time in number of NCAA Tournaments, 17th in number of NCAA Tournament games played, 10th in number of Final Four appearances with 6 and tied for ninth in National Championships with two.
Fifth Third Arena is the home of the Bearcats since it opened in 1989. It holds over 13,000 Bearcats fans for home games, which makes it one of the bigger arenas in college basketball. The place is normally close to full capacity for Bearcats home games and the crowd is loud and intimidating. This is part of the reason the Bearcats win about 82% of the games at Fifth Third Arena.
While in Cincinnati for a Bearcats game, you will want to check out the neighborhood as the campus has really been built up in the last few years with some gorgeous buildings. These are buildings that architects can be proud of. The neighborhood also has several nice places to get a bite to eat and a few beers such as Pieology Pizza, the Lime Mexican Grill, the Brass Tap and St. Clair.
While you go to Fifth Third Arena for game time, you will be greeted by a statue of Oscar Robertson, who starred at Cincinnati during the glory days of the early 1960s, then went on to become one of the greatest players in NBA history.
Some of the other Bearcats to go on to the NBA include Jack Twyman, Connie Dierking, Nick Van Exel, Kenyon Martin, DeMarr Johnson and Lance Stephenson. Who will the next great Bearcats to play in the NBA be? Chances are they are on this year’s team and you can see them play now at Fifth Third Arena.
The Bearcats home schedule for 2015-16 will feature games with Robert Morris, Tennessee, Butler, Iowa State, Temple, Tulsa, Houston, Memphis, Tulane, USF, ECU, UConn and more. With a home schedule like this one, you will want to be a part of the action at Fifth Third Arena this season.
image courtesy of gobearcats.com