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College Basketball Prediction
There's not much to say about this game except that you know it will be close, hard-fought, ugly at times and unpredictable. That's just how things roll in the Big East. Cincinnati got back on the winning side of things Tuesday night with a walkover of Villanova, 68-50. They lost their two previous games, one at Providence and the other at home to Pittsburgh.
Georgetown hasn't had many problems of their own lately as they are on a six-game winning streak. Three of those wins came against ranked teams: Notre Dame, Louisville and Marquette. Of course, it should be made clear that only two of those six wins came on the road. Their lone road game since Jan. 21 came at Rutgers. This one will be a little different.
While the Hoyas have had some success on the road this year (win at Notre Dame), they've also had some troubles (loss at South Florida). Trying to predict what team will show up here is just the beauty of the sport.
Georgetown's defense has been stifling during this winning streak to say the least. The most points they've allowed was 63 at Rutgers. Sure, the Big East isn't a power-scoring conference, but they also held Louisville to 51 points and the Fighting Irish to 47 points on the road. Those numbers are incredible.
That doesn't help the Bearcats at all with their wishy-washy offense. They just scored 68 points against Nova, but couldn't get over the 52-point threshold against Pitt or Providence in their previous two games. When their leading scorers Sean Kilpatrick and Cashmere Wright are given problems, they tend to struggle because they don't have much help elsewhere. Wright has had trouble shooting the ball for a while which is where the main problem stems. He's only been able to shoot 21 percent (14-for-67) from the field over the last six games. That includes going 8-for-51 (16%) from long range. When your second leading scorer misses a fifth of his shots, getting points is harder than usual. Kilpatrick hasn't had much trouble scoring while JaQuon Parker has tried to pick up the slack. Parker put in 19 points against Nova on Tuesday.
Scoring will be hard as it is and with the way Wright has been shooting, home-court advantage might not matter all that much.
While the Hoyas defense is top-notch, their offense isn't much better than the Bearcats. Obviously, they've been better on their winning streak, but keeping that up against Cincy won't be easy. Otto Porter Jr. has been their method to the madness this year. He's averaging 15.3 points to go with 7.9 rebounds per game. His game has actually picked up in conference play which is a main reason for their success. Markel Starks has also taken up a new role since Greg Whittington was declared ineligible. Starks averages 12.7 points on the season, but has over 16 per game in his last five. The rest of Georgetown's contributors are hit or miss, just like Cincinnati's, but they have two consistent scorers, something Cincy doesn't.
The Bearcats are 19-6, but have a disappointing 7-5 conference record. They won't take this game lightly and know a win here is important with three very difficult upcoming road games (Connecticut, Notre Dame, Louisville). They'll need Cashmere Wright to start hitting his shots because if he doesn't, their season won't have a great ending.
Predicted Score - Cinci 58 Georgetown 51
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