Cincinnati is still in the running to get the American Athletic Conference title, but they'll be hosting a Houston squad on Thursday night that will be looking to really pad their resume for the NCAA Tournament committee. The Cougars are coming in with two consecutive wins after losing their recent chance to impress against SMU. The Bearcats saw their three-game winning streak snapped in a close loss to UCF over the weekend. Tipoff is set for 7:00 PM Eastern time and the contest can be seen on ESPN2, online or on the WatchESPN and ESPN mobile apps (subscription required).

Houston (20-8, 11-5 AAC)

The Cougars have been sliding past some of the conference's mid-tier opponents, but the important thing has been getting the victories. Most recently, the edged out Memphis 72-71 on the road. Recent ESPN projections show Houston as one of the first eight teams out of the dance. A win over a top 25 opponent would really boost their chances, and otherwise, they'll have to make a run in the upcoming conference tournament.

Senior guard Damyean Dotson (18 ppg, 7.1 rpg) has been the key in Houston's recent victories. He put up 25 points over UConn and fired a blistering 5-of-16 3-point attempts against Memphis to finish with 31 points. He also picked up nine rebounds in both contests.

No. 18 Cincinnati (25-4, 14-2 AAC)

Sitting as a 5 seed in the South region on ESPN's latest projections, the Bearcats don't have to worry about missing the tournament. They stumbled a bit in the 53-49 loss to UCF, a battle that contains two of the better defenses in the nation. The Knights started to run away with things early in the second half until the Bearcats were able to get it close again despite shooting just 29.6 percent from the field.

Sophomore guard Jacob Evans (13.6 ppg, 4 rpg) had the best showing for Cincy in the loss with 17 points. He's scored 15 or more points in the last three games. Leading scorer Kyle Washington (13.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg) was tripped up with just seven points, but he still was able to scoop up nine rebounds.

Cincinnati has won six of the seven meetings against Houston as members of the AAC. The Bearcats are favored by 8 points at home and the O/U is set at 135 points. Cincy is 12-13-1 against the spread with an 8-6 record at home.