With March Madness right around the corner, speculation about the tournament runs rampant in the minds of fans everywhere. Questions about the tournament bubble and which teams will make the field abound. And undefeated Gonzaga presents a conundrum for fans who don't seem to support a team that plays in such a weak conference. But there's one team that nobody seems to have pegged as a national title contender: The Cincinnati Bearcats.

Cincinnati's Tournament Resume.

The Bearcats currently have a record of 25-3 in the American Athletic conference.

Quality victories on the team's resume include wins over Iowa State, Xavier, and SMU. But what might be even more impressive than those victories is the team's lack of losses. The Bearcats have lost to only Butler, SMU, and Rhode Island this year. All three of those teams are inside the top 50 of the RPI and two of Cincinnati's losses came on the road. Any reasonable college basketball fan would admit that the resume is strong and that the Bearcats deserve a relatively high seed in the tournament.


ESPN's Joe Lunardi doesn't see it that way. Despite the excellent tournament resume, Lunardi predicts that the Bearcats will only be a five seed when tournament time rolls around. That would place the Bearcats behind teams with worse records like Florida State, Duke, Purdue, Butler, and West Virginia.

Does that really seem reasonable? SMU, which has a record of 24-4, is also ranked as a five seed by Lunardi. If either one of these teams wins the AAC tournament, wouldn't they deserve a higher seeding?

Cincinnati's Situation.

All the Bearcats can do is keep winning until the tournament. After that, the committee, and not Joe Lunardi, will be the one that decides where and against whom Mick Cronin's team will be playing.

The opponent that does draw them will be faced with a tough physical matchup against one of the hotter teams in the nation. Right now, Cincinnati is just looking to prove to the nation that they deserve recognition and they'll get it if they make some noise in the tournament, regardless of their seeding.