Cincinnati's Shaq Thomas, center, shoots as Connecticut's Phillip Nolan, left, and Rakim Lubin, right, defend during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament, Friday, March 13, 2
Jessica Hill
March 15, 2015

CINCINNATI (AP) Cincinnati earned its fifth straight NCAA Tournament berth, opening as a No. 8 seed against ninth-seeded Purdue in the Midwest Regional in Louisville on Thursday.

The Bearcats (22-10) solidified their spot in the tournament with a late-season five-game winning streak before losing on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer against Connecticut in the American Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals.

Cincinnati has made the tournament in each year since 2011, losing its first game in each of the last two seasons - including a 61-57 setback to 12th-seeded Harvard last year. Octavius Ellis leads the Bearcats with an average of 10 points per game.

The Boilermakers (21-12) return to the tournament for the first time in three years, bolstered by wins over Iowa, Indiana and Ohio State during a four-game stretch in late January.

You May Like