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Big East: Cincinnati Bearcats Off to 8-0 Start

The Big East Conference is loaded with talented teams this season. Thus far, three Big East teams are in the top 11 in the country. The no. 11 Cincinnati Bearcats are building a name for themselves as they have rattled off eight consecutive wins to start the season.

On Thursday night, the Bearcats set a new record for steals in one game with 23 as they ripped apart Arkansas-Little Rock 87-53. Sean Kilpatrick scored 18 points in the game and said after that the team needs to continue playing great defense and get better each time they take the court.

Cincinnati is now considered one of the country’s top defensive teams. Its 8-0 start is the 15th time the program has started with eight straight wins out of the gate and the second time in the past three seasons.

The no. 11 ranking is the Bearcats’ highest ranking since 2003-04 when they were also ranked no. 11. Cincinnati, prior to their easy win over Ark-Little Rock had wins that drew a great deal of attention from future opponents. The Bearcats beat Iowa State, Oregon and had a two point win over Alabama on a Cashmere Wright’s fade away jumper as the buzzer was about to sound.

Mick Cronin the Cincinnati head coach has said his team needs to get better with offensive execution as they are careless at times with the ball and take shots that are ill advised.

In the game against Ark-Little Rock, the two teams combined for almost as many turnovers as field goals. On the night, there were 54 field goals made between the two teams and 49 turnovers committed. Four of the Bearcats finished in double figures in scoring.

It was very noticeable that the Bearcats were playing versus an opponent that was overmatched. The team lacked on court focus, turned the ball over early and caused Cronin to bench all five of his starters to get their attention.

The tactic by Cronin worked as the team only turned the ball over two other times the rest of the half while taking a 25-point lead.

Cincinnati takes on Maryland Eastern Shore a MEAC team, which is winless at 0-8 this season, tonight at home. The Bearcats will start their conference schedule in the Big East at the end of December against Pittsburgh and then will have nearly all of their games in January and February against Big East opponents. At that time, is when Cincinnati will get to see if their no. 11 ranking is warranted or a mistake on the part of the writers and coaches who vote.

At this time, Syracuse and Louisville are the other teams from the Big East currently in the top 25. Syracuse is ranked fourth and is undefeated, while Louisville is ranked fifth and has one loss.

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