AAC CBB action when the 14-3 SMU Mustangs visit #22 13-2 Cincinnati Bearcats at Fifth Third Arena. The Mustangs have rattled off 10 consecutive wins, while the Bearcats have won their last 6 games. This contest has a start time on 9:00 pm EST.
Vegas odds have the Bearcats listed as 6 point favorites, while the total has been set at 126.5. The game has a start time of 9:00 pm EST and will be televised on ESPN.
Breaking Down The SMU Mustangs
The SMU Mustangs started their season at just 4-3, but they have really taken off since as they have won their last 10 games in a row. A win in this game will surely put them in the top 25. The Mustangs have gone 4-0 in league play so far, but they are 2-2 in true road games for the year overall. They have again been led by a very tough defense that has been one of the best in the nation so far. They will need that defense to step up here vs a very good Cincinnati offense that has been much improved over years past. They have allowed 65 points in each of their last two game, but they did not give up more than 60 points in any of their previous seven games. This is a very tough defense. They offense has been below average so far this year and it will not be easy for them to get much off of what is a very strong Cincinnati defense. The Mustangs have five players that average at least 9.7 ppg and they have been led Semi Ojeleye, who is averaging 17.8 ppg.
SMU checks in at 209th in the nation in scoring, putting up 72.9 ppg, while also ranking 96th in FG% (46.4%), 28th in 3-point shooting (39.5%) and 236th in free throw shooting (67.6%). At the defensive end of the floor they have been very strong as they come in ranked 4th in points allowed, giving up 59.1 ppg, while also ranking 19th in defensive FG% (38.8%) and 78th in 3-point defense (31.9%).
Breaking Down The Cincinnati Bearcats
The Cincinnati Bearcats have won their last six games in a row and they are now 3-0 in league play, while going 13-2 overall. They have been led by their defense as well this year and have allowed 58 points or less in all three conference games so far. This could very well turn out to be a defensive battle, with two top 15 defenses on the floor. The Bearcats have gone a strong 8-0 here at home and they have allowed just 61 ppg in those games. They have played better offenses at home than the one they will face in this game, so they could have another strong outing at that end of the floor. They will need that defense top really play well as their offense could struggle vs the 4th ranked scoring defense in the nation. This has been an improved offensive team this year, but they also haven’t faced a defense like this so far. The Bearcats have five players that average at least 8.3 ppg and they have been led by Jacob Evans, who is averaging 15.3 ppg.
The Bearcats enter this game ranked 64th in the nation in scoring, putting up 79.3 ppg, while also ranking 30th in FG% (48.5%), 198th in 3-point shooting (34.8%) and 305th in free throw shooting (64.3%). At the defensive end of the floor they have been very strong as they come in ranked 13th in points allowed, giving up 61.4 ppg, while also ranking 2nd in defensive FG% (36.0%) and 25th in 3-point defense (30.2%).
Trends: The Mustangs have gone 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up win and 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record. The Under is 7-1 in their last 8 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
The Bearcats have gone 4-1 ATS the last five games in this series and 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. the American Athletic Conference. The Over is 4-1 in their last 5 home games.;