The Cincinnati Bearcats defeated the ACC Conference Tournament Champion Florida St. Seminoles 62-56 in Nashville yesterday to advance to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
In a tight game that saw 19 lead changes and 11 ties, the sixth-seeded Bearcats took a decisive lead with less than two minutes remaining when Dion Dixon stole a Florida St. pass for a dunk. The play gave Cincinnati momentum, and ultimately the win, over the third-seeded Seminoles.
Sean Kilpatrick scored 18 points for the Bearcats. Dixon had 15 points and Yancy Gates finished with 10.
Cincinnati’s opponent in the Midwest Regional semifinal will be the second-seeded Ohio St. Buckeyes.
The Bearcats are the fourth Big East team to reach the round of 16, joining the Syracuse Orange, Marquette Golden Eagles and Louisville Cardinals.
In other Big East action yesterday, the Georgetown Hoyas and South Florida Bulls were eliminated.
Georgetown suffered a 66-63 Midwest Regional loss to the 11th-seeded N.C. State Wolfpack. Playing at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, the third-seeded Hoyas trailed for most of the game. They kept it close but were unable to take command.
The Hoyas early exit in the NCAA tournament leaves them searching for the success that, with the exception of a 2007 Final Four appearance, was common for the team in the 1980s and 90s.
Twelfth-seed South Florida lost to the 13th-seeded Ohio Bobcats, 62-56, in Nashville. The Bobcats went on a 10-0 run late in the game that provided the margin for victory.
As time eroded, the Bulls were forced out of their methodical half-court game in an effort to catch up. The Bobcats made free throws late to maintain their lead.