Friday, January 15, 2010

Top 25 worst UC losses I remember. 14-1

I had to cut this into 2 parts because it was starting to get long. Part I is right here.

14. 72-69 vs Canisius December 9, 1994
One of the most inexplicable losses in the history of Cincinnati basketball came on this night. In the Bearcat Invitational, or whatever it was called, the Bearcats overlooked a large thing called playing the game in route to winning that title. The Bearcats built up a 20 point lead and went on coast mode as the Golden Griffins made a dramatic comeback. Michael Meeks hit a 3 and Darrell Barley hit 2 free throws to ice it. UC played 8 players this game, and that's still no excuse for blowing a 20 point lead to Canisius. This was in the era where Scott didn't think UC could lose to shitty teams like this. Canisius is undefeated against Cincinnati. Big ups to the Seattle Times for having this info in their archives.

13. 69-66 vs Louisville January 15, 2005
I remember this game quite clearly for a game that happened so long ago. Cincinnati had bounced back from the Illinois loss mentioned in part 1, and was 3-0 in Conference USA. Louisville rolled into the Shoe, and proceeded to roll over early. The Bearcats raced out to a huge lead, highlighted by James White throwing down a nasty dunk on Taquan Dean's head. The Cards chipped at the lead and tied it up with 6 minutes left and took the lead. With 1:32 left, Juan Palacios got a tip in to give Louisville a 67-65 lead. Jason Maxiell drew a foul, but only made 1 of 2. Larry O'Bannon got a lay up for the Cardinals, and Jihad Muhammad raced down court and put up a 3 that nearly broke the glass on the right side of the backboard. Virtual 04-05 Louisville also beat Cincinnati at the buzzer as Francisco Garcia hit a 3 to give the Cards the win. I remember being quite pissed during both the real, and video game losses.

12. 79-76 vs Arizona February 11, 1996
I remember watching this game and working on a project for school with one of my best friends at the time. We kept taking breaks, or we were done when this game started. I remember this game for the Damon Flint self alley oop where he had the ball in his right hand and threw it over his crossed left arm for the dunk. I would replicate that dunk many a time on any rim that I had. This game is more remembered for the Miles Simon ending, you know where he threw up a halfcourt shot at the buzzer. I was deflated. My friend said something like "at least they lost in a cool way" and I wanted to punch him in the face. If you read this Matt Post, I want to punch you in the face now thinking about it.

11. 76-72 vs Michigan April 4, 1992 NCAA Tournament Final 4
The only time the Bearcats made the Final Four in my lifetime, and the reason this one isn't higher is because I can't remember the whole thing. My family watched the game at some place out in public and I was proudly wearing my Final Four shirt. I remember hating Michigan because raised in Ohio, we are taught to hate Michigan. Being at a public place with other people hazes the memory of the actual game. I remember watching the end and everyone being sad that UC lost. But not terribly sad because they were drunk.

10. 52-50 at St John's January 13, 2010
You are damn right that this game is in the top 10. Out of all the games mentioned so far, how many of them ended in true gut punch fashion like this? How many ripped out your soul? How many did you say "I will quit watching basketball if UC loses?" I know one person who did. The context of this one is the only question of where it will ultimately end up. What an epic choke job by UC. Throwing away 2 inbounds passes, and having a possession end in a blocked shot and foul with 25 seconds left is still insane.

9. 66-64 at Xavier December 18, 1999
The Bearcats rolled into this one ranked #1. It was the final Crosstown Shootout at the Cincinnati Gardens, and Xavier closed the building in style. This was the second time that Xavier beat Cincinnati when the Bearcats were ranked #1. I remember watching this game with my parents, lame is right, and being more and more aggravated by this game. Cincinnati fouled Xavier shooting 3s twice, and I believe it was the second time I ever cussed in front of my parents. The first I remember distinctly. My mom, brother and I were watching Where in the World is Carmen San Diego, and I said 'what the hell was that' and my mom shot me a death stare. Xavier won a tough one and once again ruined everything that was good with the world. The fans storming the court like idiots while Dick Vitale yelled "Upset city, ohhhhhhhhhh baby!!!!!" made me hate him. The Bearcats had a chance to get the ball back with 3 seconds left, but Lloyd Price got the rebound of his bricked free throw and evil won that day.

8. 67-66 vs Iowa State March 15, 1997 NCAA Tournament 2nd Round
The Bearcats were the pre-season favorites to win the NCAA title. Danny Fortson was on the cover of SI. Times were good. The Bearcats were a 3 seed in the Midwest region and went up against the 6 seeded Cyclones. Kenny Pratt and Dedric Willoughby lead the way for Iowa State putting up 21 and 19 respectively. Cincinnati trailed from the mid point of the first half to the last minute when Melvin Leavitt made 2 free throws to give UC the lead and make me ecstatic. That would turn into pure rage when Darnell Burton had a loose ball under the basket and was tackled by an Iowa State player, only to have it be called a travel. It was one of the worst calls in the history of the world if I remember correctly having not seen the play since. Klay Edwards made the shot to win with 32 seconds left. Damon Flint had 2 chances to give UC the win, but came up short on a lay up attempt. I was deflated.

7. 74-73 vs Syracuse March 8, 2006 Big East Tournament
The Bearcats and Orange were playing for a shot in the NCAA tournament in the eyes of everyone watching. The game was controlled by Syracuse until mid way through the second half when the Bearcats roared back. With 3:40 left, Devan Downey made a steal and a lay up to give UC the lead. It was nip tuck down the stretch, but UC took the lead with 10 seconds left on a James White jumper. UC would force a steal and Downey would make 1 of 2 free throws for a 2 point lead. The fun would be short lived as Gerry McNamara raced down the court and threw up a 3 pointer over Eric Hicks that ended the Bearcats NCAA hopes. It was a tough way to go out, and UC hasn't come close to making the big dance since.

6. 73-63 vs Mississippi State March 24, 1996 NCAA Tournament Elite 8
This was the last time Cincinnati made a run in the tournament. I remember being so fucking pumped because Mississippi State had beaten UConn and was a lowly 5 seed playing the 2 seed Cincinnati, who had been kicking ass. The Final Four was in the bag.  I had a little basketball that I took a sharpie to and UC pimped it out. 2 and a half hours later, that boy would not be so happy. The game was in Lexington, and was like a UC home game. Mississippi State got out to a double digit lead that carried over to the second half. UC made a run and the crowd was into it. But, the Cats wouldn't get over the hump. The Bulldogs would go on a run with Danny Fortson and Art Long in foul trouble and never look back. I remember CBS showing the Bearcats looking sad and everyone down on the bench and I was sad and down on my couch.

5. 75-68 (OT)  vs North Carolina March 28, 1993 NCAA Tournament Elite 8
I remember being so pumped for this game, that I busted out the Final Four shirt. I was excited about the possibility of UC going to back to back Final Fours. Alas, it was not meant to be. The Bearcats and Tar Heels were the 2 and 1 seeds and had an epic showdown here. The Bearcats got out to a 15 point lead in the first half that sent the party my family was having crazy. Carolina would cut the lead to 1 at the half, and it was close to the end. There was a controversial play with 0.8 left. North Carolina's Brian Reese drove to the basket and missed a dunk that took longer than a second, but the buzzer didn't sound and the ref said that if it went in, it would have counted. Crazy. In overtime, the Tar Heels would show they were better. Donald Williams made back to back 3s that would rip my heart out. Nick Van Exel had 21 for Cincinnati, but only 1 basket the second half after outscoring UNC at one point 15-14. I remember having to be picked up off the floor by my dad. Bad times for young me.

4. 75-74 vs West Virginia March 14, 1998 NCAA Tournament 2nd Round
This loss followed the Iowa State loss and was the Bearcats 4th early exit in 5 years. The Bearcats were the 2 seed, WVU the 10 seed. UC struggled in round 1 against Northern Arizona, and struggled in this one. D'Juan Baker hit the game winning 3 to beat NAU, and hit 2 3s in the last minute to give UC the lead here. Baker's second 3 came with 7 seconds left. West Virginia didn't call their last time out. Jarrod West raced down the court in the madness, and banked home a 25 footer, that Reuben Patterson might have tipped, to topple the Bearcats. The West shot is one of the luckiest shots that I have ever seen hit against a team that I liked. Another example of pure joy to pure disappointment. I got mad just now remembering it.

3. 71-69 vs Xavier November 26, 1996
I don't even need to tell you this was the Lenny Brown game. You knew it from the score.

2. 105-101 (2 OT) vs UCLA March 17, 2002 NCAA Tournament 2nd Round
I went to UC during this season, and this is the UC team I might have loved most. It's a tie really. Steve Logan, Lenny Stokes, Immanuel McElroy, Donald Little and the boys had a great, overachieving squad earning a 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins were an underachieving 8 seed who were ranked 4th in the preseason. The teams played an epic contest leaving it all on the court. Stokes played out of his mind scoring 39. Steve Logan struggled with 18 on 6-18 shooting. Dan Gadzuric had 26, Jason Kapono 19, and Matt Barnes 17. The teams put up 66 3 pointers, which was a record at the time. The heart breaking play came in the 2nd OT when, down 1, UC couldn't get the rebound off a miss and Billy Knight got a 3 point play. This one really hurt because the Bearcats were up 10 at the half, and 11 with 9 minutes to go. Tides turned when UCLA made a 3, UC fouled as the ball was rattling home, and UCLA got another 3 to cut the lead to 5. The Bearcats had chances to win in regulation, and especially in overtime. Stokes gave UC a lead with a minute left, but Cedric Bozeman tied to score with 38 seconds left. UC missed at least 3 shots as overtime ended, and I started feeling a sense of dread. This second round defeat was the toughest to take for me, because I really loved this team.

1. 68-58 vs St Louis March 9, 2000 Conference USA Tournament 2nd Round


  1. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

  2. Last night was so frustrating to watch I just could not take it. It is pretty sad when you can predict what was going to happen in those last 6.2 seconds