cronin

Coin flip lands Cincinnati top seed in American Athletic Conference tournament (VIDEO)

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With both No. 15 Cincinnati (26-5) and No. 11 Louisville (26-5) finishing 15-3 in American Athletic Conference play, the two programs will share the first regular season conference title. But the task of figuring out which team would claim the top seed in next week’s conference tournament was a complicated one, with both teams going 4-2 against the three teams (SMU, UConn and Memphis) tied for third and undefeated against the rest of the conference.

And with Memphis beating SMU earlier Saturday, the tie would be broken through use of the simplest method of them all: the coin flip. In the video above, complete with referees, CBS analyst Bill Raftery and other league officials in attendance and Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin on the cell phone, Cincinnati wins the flip when the coin comes up “heads.”

But did the Bearcats land a tougher path to the title game as a result? Cincinnati will open with the winner of Wednesday’s first-round game between UCF and Temple, which they should be able to handle. But a possible semifinal matchup with either UConn, who beat the Bearcats in Hartford last month, or host Memphis awaits. Louisville, on the other hand, should enjoy the crowd advantage against the winner of Rutgers/USF and possibly SMU in the semis.

Video credit: Jody Demling (Cardinal Authority)

BUBBLE BANTER: All of the action on the fringe of the NCAA tournament

Fred VanVleet
(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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Tonight’s bubble action. This post will be updated as the games are completed.

Cincinnati at UCF, 7:00 p.m.
Pitt at No. 12 Miami, 7:00 p.m.
No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.
Ole Miss at Florida, 9:00 p.m.
Georgia at No. 22 Kentucky, 9:00 p.m.
Arkansas at Mississippi State, 9:00 p.m.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: A Big 12 and a Big Ten showdown

Denzel Valentine
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.

The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.

We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

  1. Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
  2. Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
  3. Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
  4. Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
  5. No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
  • No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.