ORLANDO, Fla. – The AAC championship game will see the number one seeded Cincinnati Bearcats face off against the third seeded Houston Cougars for the third time this season with both teams having wins on their home floors. In January Cincinnati won 80-70 and in February it was a hard fought game that saw Houston come away with a 5 point win.
The Cougars are coming off of a thrilling win over Wichita State where point guard Rob Gray scored 33 points including 8 of the teams last 10 points. He will need to be the catalyst for the Cougar offense heading into the championship game on Sunday.
As for the Bearcats their win Saturday afternoon was sparked by Gary Clarks 17 points and 12 rebounds but Cincinnati will need production from other players like team leading scorer Jacob Evens. The Bearcats were 1st in the American Athletic Conference finishing the season 29-4.
Houston players are excited to make it to the championship game, Head Coach Kelvin Sampson was asked to share some of his thoughts on Cincinnati after the Coogs big win over Wichita State.
“Clark and Washington and then the other two bigs, Scott and Brooks off the bench, they pose a problem. Evans is really playing well. And then the Broome kid, who really wasn’t a factor the first two games has really stepped up his game.” Sampson followed that up saying “it’s not going to be the toughest team that wins because both teams are tough. It’s going to be the teams that your best players have to step up and play well in a game like this”
As for Cincinnati Head Coach Mick Cronin he was asked how important it is to win this tournament, “I’ve been lucky and fortunate to coach basketball at this level for a long time now. I think my 15th year as a head coach, but it’s Gary Clark and Kyle Washington’s last chance to win a conference tournament. They could have two games left in their college career. So to think that we’re not trying to win the game tomorrow — the tournament, winning the tournament, there’s a game and they keep score for a reason”
The AAC Championship game starts at 3:30 on Sunday afternoon and will be aired on CBS.