The Cincinnati Bearcats will be back home in Cincinnati, Ohio to take on the Norfolk State Spartans in Fifth Third Arena. Below is the Cincinnati vs. Norfolk State prediction and game preview.
Cincinnati vs. Norfolk State Game Preview
Date: Tuesday, Dec. 15
Game Time: 7 p.m. Et
Venue: Fifth Third Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio
Why You Need To Care
The Bearcats didn’t fall far after their loss to Xavier. In fact, they didn’t fall at all, as Cincinnati stayed right at No. 23 in the latest AP Top 25 rankings.
The loss to the Musketeers in the Crosstown Shootout was the Bearcats’ second loss in three games. They fell to Butler, 78-76, two weeks ago.
Luckily enough for Cincinnati, Norfolk State comes to town sporting a 4-5 record. The Spartans dropped four of their first five games of the season. After picking up three straight wins, Norfolk State lost against Northern Kentucky on Sunday, 81-60.
The Spartans are ranked 210th in points given up, allowing 72.8 points per game, while the Bearcats have been dropping 79.3 points per game.
Why Cincinnati Will Win
Head coach Mick Cronin has the luxury of turning to a trio of scorers to put points up on the board. Octavius Ellis, Farad Cobb and Troy Caupain are all averaging double figures, and they’ll get whatever they want in terms of shot selection against the Spartans. Norfolk State does shoot 40.8 percent from behind the arc, though, so Cincinnati will have to communicate, know its rotations and close out when the Spartans try to space the floor for open triples.
Why Norfolk State Will Win
Aside from simply hitting threes, the Spartans have to keep Cincinnati off the boards. The Bearcats have pulled down 410 rebounds, and 130 of them have been on the offensive glass. Jeffrey Short needs to take his 43.8 three-point percentage and go off from behind the arc. If he gets some help from D’Shon Taylor and Charles Oliver, the Spartans could make it interesting.
What’s Going To Happen?
Ellis is going to dominate down low. He’s too efficient in the paint. Cincinnati will chase Norfolk State off the three-point line, and when the Spartans put the ball on the floor, the Bearcats will force turnovers and contested jumpers. Short and Taylor will both hit double figures, but Norfolk State won’t hang around for long. Cobb and Caupain will help Ellis in the scoring department, and Cincinnati will pull away in the second half.
Cincinnati vs. Norfolk State Prediction
Line: Cincinnati -22