By Greg Dempson
The ninth seeded Bearcats tangle with the eighth seeded Hawks at the Spokane Veterans Arena in Spokane, Washington. The last time St. Josephs made an appearance in Spokane was in 2014 and that game vs. the Gonzaga Bulldogs was their worst defeat in the history of their program, (94–42.) It has been a long time since these two storied schools have met, back in 1969 to be exact. As for the all-times series, these two have met four times with Cincinnati holding a 3–1 series lead.
The Bearcats enter tonight’s contest off that four overtime thriller vs. UCONN, losing, (104–97.) Cincinnati brigs a suffocating defense into this contest, one of the top defenses in division one, as they allowed an average of 62.9 PPG while averaging five blocks per game. On the season, teams shot only 39% against them. The Bearcats also have a distinct size advantage. The Bearcats will have a healthy Gary Clark for tonight’s game, )he has recovered from an ankle injury.) In all, Cincinnati has four players that average double-digits in scoring, Tony Caupain, Farad Cobb, Gary Clark and Octavius Ellis. The team also has 17 double doubles this season, their most under the tenure of head coach Mick Cronin.
About Saint Josephs
The Hawks are led by forward Isaiah Miles, who averaged 18 PPG and 8 rebounds. Forward DeAndre Bembry averaged 17 points, seven rebounds and more than four assists. The Hawks have 17 double doubles this season the most under head coach Phil Martelli. Saint Josephs has appeared in 20 previous NCAA Tournaments and are 18-24 in those games.
· Cincinnati is 5–2 in the opening round of the tournament, when playing in the West region, as well as 44 – 28 in tournament play.
· Saint Josephs last won a first-round game, to advance to the Elite Eight, in 2004 tournament.
· Play on any major Division 1–A conference team, (off an upset loss to a conference rival as a favorite, when playing against a team from a second tier conference. This system is 64–28 = 70% ATS since 1997.
March Madness Pick
My Every Edge Friday night tournament selection is on the Cincinnati Bearcats at –3 –120.