It sounds like I've been saying this quite a bit of late ... but that had to be Cincinnati's best game of the year. At least it was right there with the Louisville win and maybe a couple of others. I was interested in how the pace of this one would go. If we use the formula for estimating possessions in a game we can figure that out.
Poss. = FGA-OR+TO+0.475xFTA
Cincy ...55-17+16+(.475*29) = 67.8
Cuse ... 54-11+13+(.475*24) = 67.4
So let's say 68 possessions. As I noted yesterday, Syracuse and Cincinnati were quite different in teams in terms of pace. Before tonight, Syracuse averaged about 75 possessions a game and Cincy 66. It looks like Cincinnati won the battle here, as the game was probably much slower than Syracuse wanted. This was probably largely due to the Bearcats getting that big lead and then being able to sit on the ball late.
Vaughn was the star again, scoring 29 points on 16 shots from the field. He also chipped in with 5 assists and 3 rebounds. Jamual Warren had a nice line: 5 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists. Won't get headlines, but that's a nice game (he also had 3 steals, a block, and just 2 turnovers). McClain had 7 points and 7 rebounds in just 23 minutes. I'm going to guess his minutes will keep going up.
Anyway, it was a great win all around. The real difference was Cincinnati's rebounding. They beat Syracuse on both sides of the ball:
Of course, there are still things to improve on. They had 16 turnovers, which is a bit high. 7-26 from 3 isn't going to get it done on most nights. A good Villanova team comes in on Saturday and Cincinnati looks for a 3-1 Big East start.