Time and Place: 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4 at the Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio
Where to Watch: ESPN2, channel 42.2 on the HuskyVision cable listing
Last Meeting: UConn won 104-97 last season on March 11, 2016 in the first round of the American Athletic Conference Tournament. The Huskies are 13-8 all-time against the Bearcats
UConn’s Last Time Out: 78-68 win over Tulane at Gampel Pavilion on Jan. 28, 2017
Cincinnati’s Last Time Out: 57-55 win at Tulsa on Feb. 1, 2017
Projected Starting Lineups: UConn (10-11, 5-4 The American) vs. Cincinnati (20-2, 9-0 the American)
G: Jalen Adams vs. Troy Caupain
Adams struggled in his recent outing against Tulane, going 3-for-15 from the field and 0-for-3 from three, amassing only eight points, but he is still the leading scorer on UConn with 15.0 points per game. He is also second on the Huskies with 24 steals. Caupain had a decent outing against Tulsa, going 5-for-13 from the field and 2-for-6 from three with 15 points. Caupain is one of three Bearcats to average double-digit points per game with 10.9, and is only slightly better than Adams in terms of steals, as he is tied for second on Cincinnati with 27 steals on the season; the Bearcats lead the American with 7.5 steals per game.
G: Rodney Purvis vs. Jacob Evans
Purvis had another good performance against Tulane last week, going 4-for-9 from the field with 14 points; his points per game average is now up to 12.4. Evans, on the other hand, performed worse, going 4-for-14 from the field and 2-for-9 from 3-point range for just 10 points. Despite his poor performance last game, Evans is still the leading scorer on Cincinnati with 14.1 points per game and also has 27 steals on the season.
C/F: Amida Brimah vs. Kyle Washington
Brimah had a stellar performance against Tulane in his last game, scoring 18 points on 4-for-7 shooting, including going 10-for-12 from the free throw line, as well as collecting five blocks and eight rebounds. Brimah, who has 62 blocks on the season, is a large part of why UConn is first in the American in blocked shots, with Cincinnati being a close second. Washington, a forward, scored just 10 points last game, but also grabbed eight rebounds. He is also the leading shot blocker on the Bearcats with 34.
F: Kentan Facey vs. Gary Clark
Facey continues to play at an elevated level, going 8-for-15 last game and scoring 20 points along with grabbing 12 rebounds for his sixth double-double in his last 11 games for his third in a row. He is UConn’s leading rebounder, averaging 7.5 rebounds per game. Clark is also Cincy’s leading rebounder with 7.4 boards per game. He had an efficient game last week against Tulsa, scoring nine points on 3-for-5 from the floor and making the only 3-pointer he took. Clark is an incredibly efficient shooter overall, with a field goal percentage of 58.3 percent, good for second in the conference.
F: Vance Jackson vs Kevin Johnson
Jackson had a rough game against Tulane last week, going 0-for-3 from both the floor and beyond the arc, scoring just three points solely from free throws. Despite his weak performance last time, he has still performed outstandingly ever since conference play started; he has shot 47.2 percent from three, which is second-best in conference. Johnson is Cincy’s leading stealer with 31 steals on the season, but outside of his defense, he is relatively quiet on the floor. In his last game, he scored only six points after going 1-for-9 overall with four made free throws.
A little more charitable from the stripe: UConn has shot a season-best 81.6 percent from the free throw line over its last three games, which uncoincidentally aligns with the fact that the Huskies are on a three-game winning streak, their longest of the season.
Speaking of winning streaks…: Since their road loss to Butler on Dec. 10, Cincinnati has won 13 straight games, including a perfect record at home. Their run has earned them the No. 14 ranking in the latest AP poll.
Remember last time?: In last season’s conference tournament, Jalen Adams hit a buzzer-beater from three-quarters court with 0.8 seconds left on the clock in triple-OT to send the game into a fourth overtime just seconds after Kevin Johnson hit the go-ahead three that seemingly won the game for the Bearcats. UConn won that game 104-97, propelling them to go on an unlikely run to win the American Athletic Conference Championship for the first time in UConn’s history.