The Norman Transcript

Sports

February 4, 2014

Clawing back: No. 7 Bearcats have highest ranking in 10 years

CINCINNATI — It’s been a long time since the Bearcats have reached such heights.

Cincinnati had another breakthrough on Monday in its impressive start, moving into the top 10 of the Associated Press college basketball poll. The Bearcats came in at No. 7, their highest ranking in 10 years.

They’ve won 14 in a row since a lopsided defeat to crosstown rival Xavier. Their 21-2 mark represents their best start in 12 years. And they’re in control of the American Athletic Conference with a 10-0 mark, in line to win its first regular season title.

“We’re not done yet,” senior forward Justin Jackson said, after a 50-49 win over South Florida on Sunday put them in position for their big jump from No. 13 in the poll. “We want to be on the big stage come March. That’s our focus: When we come to March to have a good seed and do what we need to do.”

They’ve got one more month to make their case for a high seed that could help them advance deep into the NCAA tournament.

The challenge is to keep the momentum going with a short-handed roster that might be starting to wear down.

The Bearcats haven’t been ranked so high since the 2003-04 season under coach Bob Huggins. They made it to No. 6 before losing to Louisville. The Bearcats won the Conference USA tournament that season and lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Huggins was forced out before the 2005-06 season in a power struggle with the school president, leaving the program in disarray. The Bearcats were ranked No. 25 for one week that season under interim coach Andy Kennedy.

Mick Cronin returned to his hometown to start rebuilding the program the following season. The Bearcats made it back to the Top 25 during the 2009-10 season. They went 26-11 in 2011-12 and reached the Sweet 16 before losing to Ohio State. They’ve reached the tournament each of the last three seasons, making it to the round of 16 only one time.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • 498415327SB20543_Sky_Shock Paris didn’t give up when instant success eluded her

    TULSA — It looked like it came easily to Courtney Paris. The minute she stepped foot on the campus at the University of Oklahoma in 2005, it seemed she was already an All-American and destroying the competition in the Big 12 and across the ...

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sooners will have to do the right thing eventually

    Don’t read anything into the non-suspension suspension Oklahoma leveled at true freshman running back Joe Mixon Wednesday....

    July 31, 2014

  • In this case, Sooner fans can rest easy

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Sooner Caravan ended its summer run at the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame Wednesday night. OU coach Bob Stoops did not take questions, but one of the major topics was the $370 million renovation to ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Three Tigers competing for quarterback

    While some teams have had questions surrounding the quarterback position in recent years, Norman High has seen relative stability. Thanks to a three-year run by Zach Long followed up by Jakcob Dean’s ascendance last season, the Tigers ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Indians trade Justin Masterson to Cardinals

    CLEVELAND — The Indians had little choice but to give up Justin Masterson. The trade doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender the season....

    July 31, 2014

  • Cowboys sign tackle Smith to 8-year extension

    OXNARD, Calif. — Tyron Smith has a new contract that will probably make him the most important blocker for the next Dallas quarterback after Tony Romo....

    July 31, 2014

  • Quarterback questions abound with big stars gone from SEC offenses

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Quarterback battles and signal-caller questions abound in the Southeastern Conference going into preseason camps around the league. Big names, not so much....

    July 31, 2014

  • Jones says Brent out of rehab, NFL question next

    OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says former defensive tackle Josh Brent is out of rehabilitation and could have his future with the NFL resolved before the team leaves training camp in California in two weeks....

    July 31, 2014

  • Ives to crew chief for Dale Jr. in 2015

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There was no shortage of candidates to replace Steve Letarte as Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief The list of applicants was long, but Hendrick Motorsports has always liked to groom its own talent. So the organization ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Gustafson wants Gordon’s team focused on Chase

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jeff Gordon viewed his Brickyard 400 win as a turning point for his race team. Confidence had been building with every strong run, but his victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway pushed his crew to another level. It was ...

    July 31, 2014

Facebook