Cincinnati Bearcats welcome North Carolina State Wolfpack into Fifth Third Arena in a huge non conference showdown. The Wolfpack, from the Atlantic Coast Conference, is the first team from the BCS conference play at Fifth Third Arena since Arizona State on November 21, 1997. This game is the second of four UC games that are part of the Global Sports Shootout. Also, it's apart of the ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon, game starts at 5pm on ESPN.
Bearcats are 1-6 all-time vs. NC State. The only UC win was an 80-71 back in Dec. 23, 2006. Both teams are coming off season-opening wins last Friday, Bearcats beating NC Central 74-61 and the Wolfpack beating Appalachian State, 98-77. There are some questions leading up to this match up tonight.
1) Will UC perform better in their half court defense?
The Bearcats struggled to find the right combination on defense to stop NCCU in their half court set. NCCU guard Jeremy Ingram scored 27 points, while forward Jay Copeland had 11 points and 8 rebounds, both fouled out.
Will the Bearcats be able to contain sophomore T.J. Warren and guard Desmond Lee
The Wolfpack sophomore T.J. Warren coming off a 27 point game vs Appalachian State, 21 of those points in the second half. Warren led the ACC in field goal percentage with 62.2 percent last year while averaging 12.1 points per game. Lee had 24 points on 10-of-12 shooting in that game and the Wolfpack shot an amazing 61.9 percent as a team.
Will the Bearcats have a better shooting performance tonight?
Bearcats shot only 39.3 percent from the field against NC Central in the season-opener. And they went 7 of 21 from the three point stripe (33.3 percent). Senior Sean Kilpatrick got off to a slow start against NCCU, while Titus Rubles led the team in the first half with 9 points.
Its early in the season but tonight's game for the Bearcats could be huge from an RPI standpoint. Also a big boost in momentum going forward.