Wichita State to Complete Sweep of Cincinnati and Win AAC


Doug Upstone

Sunday, March 4, 2018 12:58 PM GMT

Sunday, Mar. 4, 2018 12:58 PM GMT

This is why the American Athletic Conference wanted Wichita State. Today at noon on CBS, they will have the early spotlight with a regular-season championship on the line.

Sunday College Basketball: Cincinnati vs. Wichita StateFree NCAAB Pick: Wichita State -2.5Best Line Offered: JustBet

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Cincinnati leads the AAC by a game over Wichita State. A Bearcats triumph gives them the title and the No. 1 seed in next week's conference tourney. A Wichita State victory would give them a share of the championship by records, but a sweep of Cincy would anoint them to the top-seed in the league and fulfills why they made the move to this conference.

The college basketball odds board opened this encounter as a Pick. Those making NCAAB picks pushed Wichita State to a -1 home favorite after one hour on the open betting market, and that number has grown.

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Cincinnati Has to Play To Identity

Maybe everyone, including the Bearcats players, became complacent after a 23-2 start. Losses to Houston and Wichita State were early wake-up calls and perhaps 10th-ranked Cincinnati (26-4, 16-11 ATS) was not quite as good as their record.

Anyone watching film now understands if you match the energy and have the talent to compete, Cincinnati is not going to run away from you, especially when you add in the point spread. The Bearcats were outworked and outhustled in the last meeting and they will need to bring the kind of intensity that has allowed them to be 8-2 (6-4 ATS) on the road, where they have won by an average of 10.8 PPG.

Wichita State Needs Same Intensity as Last Encounter

When you consider the upgrade in competition, there is nothing wrong with 11th-ranked Wichita State having a 24-5 record. Where the public and basketball bettors see this team differently is their less-than-favorable 12-15-1 ATS mark. One might think with three seniors, hustle and desire would never be an issue, but it has been. The Shockers are given dull periods and this has occurred in any number of games this season. In most of these encounters they have pulled their way out, but not every time. Part of this is a function of coach Gregg Marshall's team being slightly overrated, as they do not have the athleticism of most top 15 teams and this has caused them to struggle at various points, particularly since they are an up-tempo club.

In this special Senior Day affair, the attention will be on Shaq Morris (14.2 PPG), Darral Willis Jr. (10.7) and Conner Frankamp (10.4) to set the proper level of enthusiasm and intensity, which allowed them to pull the 76-72 upset of Cincinnati two weeks ago.

Your AAC Sunday Spread Winner

No doubt the passion will be incredible and the physical play will possibly be even more intense than the last contest. But in the end, a highly focused and proud Shockers will accomplish what they set out to do this season behind their three seniors -- and that is win the AAC.

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