SMU advanced with a 74-68 win against East Carolina while Temple escaped in the afternoon session over Memphis. The Cincinnati/UConn winner will play the Houston/Tulsa winner on Saturday afternoon in the semifinals.
Thursday night was easy for UConn. A 26-point win, 11 3-pointers and a somewhat easy game against South Florida.
It won't be nearly as easy tonight against Cincinnati. That's assured. Win or lose tonight the Huskies are going to feel it.
"It's going to be physical," UConn guard Ryan Boatright said. "I played them a lot of times and every single time that we play them it's extremely physical and it's going to be a close game. It is going to come down to whoever wants it the most. It's going to be a dog fight."
A dog fight, rock fight, a battle. Black and Blue is the usual result of Cincinnati and UConn and has been for years. UConn beat Cincinnati 62-56 in January at the XL Center and the Bearcats returned the favor with a 70-58 win in Cincinnati later that month.
Octavius Ellis leads the Bearcats (22-9) at 10.0 ppg. and 7.3 rpg. with 2.1 blocks. Cincinnati has six players average between six and 10 points a game.
The Bearcats are predictably a defensive oriented team allowing only 55.2 points per game. Cincinnati holds teams to under 40 percent shooting and only 32.6 percent from three-point range.
Troy Capupain is averaging 9.4 ppg. and Farad Cobb 8.6 off the bench for the Bearcats.
UConn will be undermanned against as Kentan Facey is likely out with a concussion once again. the Huskies are also without guard Sam Cassell Jr. leaving only eight players in the rotation.
The Huskies are feeling good about themselves and the tournament atmosphere and came out of Thursday win over USF healthy and with plenty left in the tank.