It wasn’t pretty — and, at times, it was downright awful to watch — but Cincinnati picked up an incredibly important win over No. 19 San Diego State in overtime on Wednesday night.
The final score? 71-62, as Farad Cobb and Troy Caupain both scored 12 points and made a number of key plays down the stretch.
But how Cincinnati won — by shooting 47.2 percent from the floor and 17-for-21 from the line — is far less important than the simple fact that, you know, they did win.
The American has not been good this season. UConn has lost three times, including dropping a home game to Yale. SMU has been thoroughly unimpressive and is still playing without Markus Kennedy. Memphis might be better off if I was running the point for them right now. Tulane currently has the best record in the conference. Houston just lost to Arkansas-Pine Bluff at home. Tulsa lost to a Division II school at home.
Not a single team in the league got a vote for the Top 25 this week. Not one.
And while San Diego State isn’t all that good, this is the best win that Cincinnati has this season. It’s not really close, either. It’s also the best win that the American has as a whole, as the league is now 1-9 against ranked opponents.
It’s clearly not enough, on its own, to get the Bearcats into the NCAA tournament, but given that there aren’t going to be that many good wins to be had once league play starts, it’s one that they definitely needed.