You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

University of Cincinnati Bearcats basketball finally cracks the Top 25 polls

Cincinnati Enquirer logo Cincinnati Enquirer 2/4/2019 Scott Springer
a group of men playing a game of basketball: Cincinnati Bearcats guard Keith Williams (2) cuts back under coverage from Southern Methodist Mustangs forward Isiaha Mike (15) in the second half the the NCAA American Athletic Conference basketball game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Southern Methodist Mustangs at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. The Bearcats edged out SMU for a 73-68 win. © Sam Greene, The Enquirer Cincinnati Bearcats guard Keith Williams (2) cuts back under coverage from Southern Methodist Mustangs forward Isiaha Mike (15) in the second half the the NCAA American Athletic Conference basketball game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Southern Methodist Mustangs at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. The Bearcats edged out SMU for a 73-68 win.

The University of Cincinnati has made the Associated Press Top 25 poll for the first time this season coming in at No. 25. 

Last year's 31-5 Bearcats were ranked all season long, finishing 12th in the USA TODAY/Coaches Poll after falling short against Nevada in round two of the NCAA tournament.

In the 2017-18 AP poll, they finished at No. 6 going into the tournament and made it as high as No. 5 in February 2018. 

In the USA TODAY Top 25 Coaches poll, UC came in at No. 23.

"I'm more worried about Selection Sunday," Cronin said on his Monday radio show on 700WLW from the Montgomery Inn Boathouse. "Two things I don't worry about, I don't worry about the Top 25 rankings and I don't worry about the recruiting rankings. A lot of guys are in the top five in the recruiting rankings and they're out of job in five years. I'd rather win on gameday. I don't say this to be condescending but what writers think about us or any team, they're not in the room on Selection Sunday and none of them are in the draft room for NBA teams. It's exciting for your fans and for your players and stuff like that."

Minus two players that went to the NBA (Jacob Evans III to Golden State, Gary Clark to Houston) and Kyle Washington who plays in the NBA G-League, UC has received votes in seven of the polling weeks but didn't crack the top 25 until today. Jarron Cumberland and Justin Jenifer are returning starters from last season. 

a baseball player holding a basketball: Cincinnati Bearcats guard Justin Jenifer (3) claps his hands as the Bearcats extend a lead in the second half the the NCAA American Athletic Conference basketball game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Southern Methodist Mustangs at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019. The Bearcats edged out SMU for a 73-68 win. © Sam Greene, The Enquirer Cincinnati Bearcats guard Justin Jenifer (3) claps his hands as the Bearcats extend a lead in the second half the the NCAA American Athletic Conference basketball game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Southern Methodist Mustangs at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019. The Bearcats edged out SMU for a 73-68 win.

The top five teams in the AP are Tennessee, Duke, Virginia, Gonzaga and Kentucky. Others of note nearby are Michigan at No. 7, Purdue at No. 15 and Louisville at No. 16. Houston from the AAC where UC plays is No. 12. The Bearcats and Cougars play next Sunday. UC must first tangle with Memphis on Thursday.

The coaches poll was similar outside of the Bearcats reaching No. 23, and Louisville being at No. 17. 

Here's how some prominent college basketball analysts had UC ranked:

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: University of Cincinnati Bearcats basketball finally cracks the Top 25 polls

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Cincinnati Enquirer

Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon