Rushed Reaction: #6 Cincinnati 62, #3 Florida State 56Posted by David Changas on March 19th, 2012
Three Key Takeaways.
- A Game of Intensity. No one will accuse either of these teams of not playing hard. Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin and Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton are known for teams that bring effort to every aspect of the game, and while they may not always play pretty, they both leave everything on the floor. Both teams shot under 40% for the game, and this is a testament to the kind defense they play. While both teams turned the ball over far too many times, this game gave us essentially what we expected: a tough, grind-it-out battle with intensity befitting a third round NCAA Tournament game.
- A See-saw Battle. The game saw 11 ties and 19 lead changes. Cincinnati took the largest lead of the second half at that point with just over a minute to play when it went up 54-50. The Bearcats were able to maintain a two-possession advantage the rest of the way, but this was as evenly-played a game as you will see. Until the Bearcats took control late, it didn’t look like either team would do so. Thanks to some shaky play down the stretch by Florida State point guard Luke Loucks, including two careless turnovers, the Bearcats move on.
- Florida State Disappointment. The Seminoles, who won the ACC Tournament just a week ago, have to be disappointed that they could not advance to a regional in which they would have had as good a chance as any team to advance to the Final Four. They finish the season at 24-10, but after last year’s Sweet Sixteen run, this Seminole squad was more equipped to make a deep run and would have no doubt given Ohio State all it could handle.
Star of the Game. Sean Kilpatrick. The sophomore guard is the Bearcats’ leading scorer, and on this night, he finished with 18 points on 5-9 shooting, including 4-6 from three-point range.
Quotable. “Had we taken care of the ball better, we’d at least have given ourselves a chance. That’s probably what did us in.” – Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton
Sights and Sounds. This was the most intense atmosphere of the weekend. The crowd was nowhere near capacity, but it was very loud, and it almost matched the intensity of the play on the floor.
Wildcard. Both games played in Nashville today ended up with the same final score, 62-56. In this game, both teams went 19-50 from the field.
What’s Next? The Bearcats advance to Boston to play in-state rival Ohio State in one East Regional semifinal. The winner of that game will take on the winner of Syracuse-Wisconsin. There’s no reason to think Cincinnati can’t advance out of that region, although taking down the Buckeyes will be a tall order.