Troy, Trevon, Both With 4.4 To Go.

In Tulsa, UC's Troy Caupain made a jump shot with 4.4 seconds left to give his team a two-point lead.

In Cincinnati, Xavier's Trevon Bluiett made a jumper with 4.4 seconds left to give his team a two-point lead.

These two things have very little to do with each other, other than the fact that each occurred within minutes of one another, each shot was made with the same exact time on the clock, each shot broke a tie and both would've been for naught has their respective opponents scored on the ensuring possession.

Caupain's heroics saved the game for the Bearcats, who stormed back from down nine with about three and a half minutes to go, with their senior point guard scoring his team's final five points. Cincinnati has found a way to win close games this season, and on a night when UC often made me want to throw my TV into a fire-pit, the Bearcats found a way to steal one from the Hurricanes, extending their winning streak to 13.

Blueitt's big bucket came at the end of another big night for the junior, who's averaging more than 27 points in XU's last four games, and who's shooting a pretty staggering 65 percent in their last three.  The Musketeers have dealt with adversity - the stretch of three losses in a row, the departure of Myles Davis, and terrible injury to Edmond Sumner - but with a much-needed, gritty, and shorthanded win over Seton Hall, XU has won three of four, and while their battle is an uphill one, their postseason chances are alive and well.

Both teams had to dodge final bullets. UC got a steal from Kevin Johnson - caused by a Tre Scott strip - to put away a shocked Golden Hurricane team.  Xavier had to survive a Khadeem Carrington three-point attempt that looked good until it rimmed out, to finally put away the Pirates.

The Bearcats and Musketeers have gone their separate ways since last week's Crosstown Shootout, and it's felt since that game that their two seasons were taking on different trajectories. Cincinnati is a lock for the NCAA Tournament, in large part because of how good of a team they are, but also because their conference is a hot mess.  Xavier will be without one of their best two players, has major conference challenges ahead, and while they may have a good resume now, it's far from a complete one.

Tonight, however, the similarities in how each team won their respective games, are impossible to ignore.

Mo Egger

Mo Egger

Mo Egger delivers his unique take on sports on Cincinnati's ESPN 1530! Read more


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