Tonight at 8:00 PM at the Fifth Third Arena, Cincinnati will be playing a mediocre Tulane team with tournament seeding and pride being mostly the only returns on a victory. The Bearcats can clinch a first-round bye in the Conference USA tournament with wins over Tulane and Memphis to close the season.
Meanwhile, the Green Wave needs a victory over Cincinnati just to keep in contention for a spot in the conference tournament, as they currently stand in 13th place with only the top 12 teams making the C-USA finale.
Tonight's game comes on the heels of the news that junior guard, Chadd Moore, will no longer be able to play basketball because of a bad back. The injury leaves the Bearcats with three main guards in the rotation-- James White, Nick Williams, and Jihad Muhammad.
CINCINNATI (22-6, 10-4 C-USA) vs. TULANE (9-16, 3-11 C-USA)
Date: March 2nd, 2005
Time: 8:00 PM, Fifth Third Arena
Series: Cincinnati leads 20-13
Last Meeting: Cincinnati won 71-44 on January 7th, 2004 at Tulane
Cincinnati Probable Starters
Bob Huggins (16th year)
F Armein Kirkland, 6-8 Jr., 11.1 pts, 4.5 reb
F Eric Hicks, 6-6 Jr., 13.9 pts, 8.9 reb, 2.4 blk
F Jason Maxiell, 6-7 Sr.,.3 pts, 7.8 reb, 2.8 blk
G Nick Williams, 6-3 Sr., 8.7 pts
G James White, 6-7 Jr., 10.4 pts, 3.2 ast
Tulane Probable Starters
Shawn Finney (4th year)
F Kory Castine, 6-8 So.,
2.2 pts, 2.6 reb
F Matt Wheaton, 6-5 Fr., 3.4 pts, 2.3 reb
F Quincy Davis, 6-9 Jr., 13.8 pts, 6.1 reb, 1.6 blk
G Taylor Rochestie, 6-1 Fr., 10.6 pts, 3.0 reb, 3.5 ast
G Marcus Kinzer, 5-10 Sr., 10.3 pts, 3.9 reb, 4.4 ast
Cincinnati enters the match-up against Tulane with a significant size advantage against the Green Wave. Aside from the fact Tulane's guards are 5-10 and 6-1 respectively against Cincinnati's 6-3 (Nick Williams) and 6-7 (James White), the Bearcats boast a front line that collectively averages nearly 30 rebounds and six blocked shots a game.
The Green Wave's front line, however, averages just barely 10 rebounds a game together. Currently, Cincinnati is third nationally in blocked shots a game, averaging 7.1 per contest.
In order to compete, Tulane will need freshman guard Taylor Rochestie to at least match his 10.6 points a game, especially hitting from the outside, where Tulane has often struggled. The Bearcats continue to lead the conference in field goal percentage defense, something that doesn't bode well for Tulane.