Busting Brackets

Big 12 Basketball: Iowa State, TCU, Texas Tech rise in latest power rankings

Oklahoma v Kansas
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10. Cincinnati (13-4, 2-2)

Once a prosperous program regularly in the NCAA Tournament, Cincinnati has not sniffed the Big Dance since 2019. They’ve had a few coaching changes and now find themselves beginning life in the Big 12 under third-year coach Wes Miller. While life won’t get easier for the Bearcats in a much tougher conference, there’s the potential for greatness from this program again in the future.

The Bearcats ran off seven wins to start the season before losing a close battle against rival Xavier. They’d add a loss to Dayton before getting their first nice win of the season at BYU in their Big 12 opener. They came up just short against Texas and Baylor but held on in overtime to knock off TCU earlier this week.

Viktor Lakhin and Daniel Skillings have done significant damage, though it was 20-point efforts from Day Day Thomas and John Newman that got the job done against those Horned Frogs. While it doesn’t run as deep as some of this league’s elite teams, there’s certainly talent and ability on Cincinnati’s roster and this defense has played much better this season than in the recent past. It’s a big challenge, especially in their first season in a newer, tougher league, but Cincinnati can win games and work themselves into the Tournament.