Men's Basketball Weekly Report - Unbeaten Cincinnati Hosts New Mexico Thursday


Unbeaten Cincinnati Hosts New Mexico Tonight
The Cincinnati Bearcats, one of only five undefeated teams in the nation, host New Mexico (12-1) Thursday night on ESPN2 at 9 p.m. ET.  The 9 p.m. tipoff from Fifth Third Arena allows Bearcat fans to watch their football team play in the Belk Bowl at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN.  The basketball Bearcats are 12-0 and ranked eighth this week by Associated Press and by USA Today.  It is the highest national ranking for UC in coach Mick Cronin's seven seasons and the highest at the school since 2003-04.
BIG EAST Play Starts New Year's Eve
BIG EAST regular season competition begins Dec. 31 when Pittsburgh hosts Cincinnati.  The game will be televised on ESPN2 at noon ET.  The Panthers are close to matching the Bearcats' torrid start.  With a 12-1 record, Pitt moved into the 24th position in both national polls this week.  New Year's Day has one BIG EAST encounter, Connecticut at Marquette, on ESPNU at 8 p.m. ET.  On Jan. 2, four more league games are scheduled.
Six BIG EAST Squads Are In The Polls
The BIG EAST has six teams in this week's national polls, tied for the most of any conference, with three of those squads in the top 10.  Louisville is No. 4 in the Associated Press poll and No. 3 in the USA Today poll.  Cincinnati is eighth in both polls.  Syracuse ranks ninth in AP and seventh in USA Today.  The other ranked teams are Georgetown (15/18), Notre Dame (21/20) and Pittsburgh (24/24).
Everyone Is Winning
Of course, when conference play begins, the team records will even out a little, but BIG EAST teams have been rolling through November and December.  Each BIG EAST squad is at least four games over .500.  Seven clubs already have at least 10 wins.  Overall, BIG EAST teams have compiled a 142-31 (.821) record against non-conference competition.