Bearcats Head Home Early

Bearcats watch first Big East Tournament end early on a last second shot by Syracuse super senior Gerry McNamara.

The "Big Stage" was set to see the University of Cincinnati exit their first Big East Tournament game in grand fashion. With a Broadway ending about to happen, Coach Andy Kennedy and his squad only needed to make one stop to preserve a victory that would ensure their dance ticket.

But while everything looked ready for the victory, Syracuse senior Gerry McNamara made a running 3-pointer to give the Orange a one point advantage and only leave .5 seconds on the clock for the Bearcats to have any chance to turn the tables. A half-court attempt by Jihad Muhammad almost turned the tables but came up short as the ball clanged off the front of the rim ending the Bearcats first trip to New York.

Coach Kennedy was quick and to the point about the game in his post game comments.

"Obviously, disappointed. Disappointed in the ending. Not disappointed in our guys, but disappointed for them. We had our opportunities and we didn't take advantage of them. When you give a team like Syracuse, who I have great respect for and the job Coach Boeheim does year in and year out, and you let Gerry McNamara have a window of opportunity, unfortunately sometimes you have to live with the feeling that we currently have."

After watching his team almost pull off a great comeback (14 points deficit), the Bearcats head coach saw senior James White hit for two of his game and career high 32 points to move the Bearcats ahead. On the inbound pass freshman Devan Downey surprised the Orange by sticking around and picking off the pass forcing Syracuse to foul Downey.

Having been clutch at the line in the previous game, Downey could only hit on one of his attempts and left some life in Syracuse's post season dreams.

The rest will go down in Big East history and showed the country why the Big East conference is second to none when it comes to "Big Time" basketball.

The Bearcats will now sit and wait for their name to be called by the NCAA Tournament committee on Sunday afternoon. If the call doesn't come expect the Bearcats to receive a NIT bid and home game to start of the countries longest running tournament.

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