The Cincinnati Bearcats men’s basketball team gets their 2022-23 season underway on Monday. The program is entering its second season under head coach Wes Miller and looks to improve upon an 18-15 record from a year ago. The Bearcats have failed to reach the NCAA tournament since the final season of Mick Cronin’s tenure in 2019. In the recent American Athletic Conference preseason coaches poll, they have been chosen to finish third in the league for the upcoming season. This is the final year for the Bearcats in the AAC before they transition to the BIG 12 in the summer of next year. Here is the Cincinnati basketball schedule:
Non-conference play: 1st half
Monday, Nov. 7 vs. Chaminade: Cincinnati gets underway against the Silverswords, an NCAA Division ll school that has not beaten a Division I school since defeating Cal in 2017.
Thursday, Nov. 10 vs. Cleveland State: The Bearcats will battle a much improved Vikings squad that has made recent trips to the NCAA Tournament and the National Invitation Tournament in the last two seasons.
Sunday, Nov. 13 vs. Eastern Kentucky: EKU has managed to produce just one winning season dating back to the 2015-16 season. They have played eight consecutive seasons without an NCAA Tournament appearance.
Wednesday, Nov. 16 @ Northern Kentucky: The Bearcats hit the road for the first time when they travel to NKU. The Norse have not had a losing season since the 2015-16 campaign. They are preseason co-favorites in the Horizon League alongside Purdue Fort Wayne.
Maui Jim Maui Invitational
Monday, Nov. 21 vs. Arizona (Maui Jim Maui Invitational/neutral site): The Bearcats will make their first extended roadtrip when they travel to Hawaii. The first legitimate test of the season for Cincinnati comes against the Wildcats. Arizona is coming off a 33-4 season in which they secured a No. 1 seed and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. They are ranked No. 17 in the preseason AP top 25.
Tuesday, Nov. 22 vs. Ohio State/San Diego State (Maui Jim Maui Invitational/neutral site): Cincinnati will face off against another tough opponent, regardless of the first-round results of the Invitational. The Buckeyes have made four straight NCAA Tournaments and the Aztecs are an AP preseason top-20 team.
Wednesday, Nov. 23 vs. TBD (Maui Jim Maui Invitational/neutral site): Depending on the outcome of the first two rounds, Cincinnati could play a number of different teams. The importance of the game will depend on the results of the first two matchups.
Non-conference play: 2nd half
Wednesday, Nov. 30 vs. New Jersey Institute of Technology: Cincinnati heads back home to face NJIT. The Highlanders have had three straight losing seasons and are picked to finish eighth in the American East Conference this year.
Sunday, Dec. 4 vs. Bryant: The Bulldogs made the NCAA Tournament for the first time as a Division I program last year, losing in the First Four. AEC head coaches predict a second-place finish in the conference this season.
Saturday, Dec. 10 vs. Xavier: The Musketeers will make the short drive across town for the 90th annual Crosstown Shootout. Xavier has dominated the series recently, winning 18 of the last 26 matchups against their historic rivals. The Bearcats lead the series overall, however, with a 51-38 record.
Wednesday, Dec. 14 vs. Miami (OH): Another local rival matches up with Cincinnati when the Redhawks travel to Cincinnati. Miami has struggled for over a decade now, with just one winning season since the start of the 2009 campaign.
Saturday, Dec. 17 vs. La Salle: The Explorers have not put together a winning season in eight years. Coaches predict them to finish dead last in the Atlantic 10 under head coach Fran Dunphy in his first year at La Salle.
Wednesday, Dec. 21 vs. Detroit Mercy: In the final non-conference game for Cincinnati, they get their third straight favorable matchup. The Titans are picked just outside the top five in the Horizon League preseason poll. They have not made the NCAA Tournament since 2012.
AAC play: 1st half
Thursday, Dec. 29 vs. Tulane: The Bearcats open their conference schedule when they host the Green Wave. Tulane has not had a winning season since 2013-14. Things may be looking up, however, as they are picked to finish fourth in the AAC, right behind Cincinnati.
Sunday, Jan. 1 @ Temple: The first conference road game comes against the Owls in Pennsylvania. Temple is picked to finish fifth in the AAC this season. Their roster is full of youth, with 10 sophomores and three freshman accounting for 13 of the 15 spots on the team.
Thursday, Jan. 5 @ Wichita State: Cincinnati will make the long trip to Wichita, Kansas to battle the Shockers in their only matchup this season. A once respected and feared program for many years, Wichita State has fallen into a hole in recent years. They have just one tournament appearance in the last four seasons, right on the heels of making seven straight trips and some deep runs from 2012 to 2018. They are picked to finish eighth in the AAC.
Sunday, Jan. 8 vs. Houston: The preseason AAC favorites come to Cincinnati looking to continue their dominance over the Bearcats. The Cougars are winners of five straight over the Bearcats. Houston is a feared team once again in the entire college basketball landscape, ranking No. 3 in the preseason AP top 25. They return their most impactful players from a season ago, as well as the addition of the Preseason AAC Rookie of the Year.
Wednesday, Jan. 11 vs. East Carolina: The Pirates are not highly thought of ahead of the 2022-23 season. AAC head coaches view them as the worst team in the conference this year. They have failed to make the NCAA Tournament since the 1993 season and have never earned an at large bid.
Saturday, Jan. 14 @ Southern Methodist: The Bearcats travel to Texas to face the Mustangs, who have struggled to regain the relevancy they once had from 2013 to 2017, making a couple of NCAA Tournament visits. A 24-9 record and an NIT bid from a year ago is a step in the right direction. SMU is predicted to finish seventh in the AAC this season.
Wednesday, Jan. 18 @ South Florida: Cincinnati will travel to Florida to play a Bulls program in search of their second winning season since 2012 when they last made a trip to the NCAA Tournament. Before that appearance, they had not made the tournament since 1992. They rank ninth in the AAC preseason poll.
Sunday, Jan. 22 vs. Memphis: The Tigers roll into Cincinnati, a year removed from their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2014. Since the hiring of Penny Hardaway, Memphis has had no issues on the recruiting side. The inability to consistently win, however, had raised some questions as to whether or not the fifth year head coach would stick at his alma mater. He recently signed an extension that put those questions to bed. It could be another solid season for Memphis, as they slot second in the AAC poll.
Saturday, Jan. 28 @ Houston: In what could certainly be the toughest game of the year for the Bearcats, they will travel to Houston for a rematch between the two teams.
AAC play: 2nd half
Wednesday, Feb. 1 vs. Tulsa: In the only matchup this season between the two schools, the Golden Hurricane will travel to face Cincinnati. Just slightly ahead of ECU in the AAC cellar, Tulsa is picked to finish 10th in the conference this year. Similar to SMU, their glory days from 2013 to 2016 are far behind them. They made two NCAA tournament appearances from that period, but have failed to make it ever since. They finished 11-20 a season ago.
Saturday, Feb. 4 vs. Central Florida: The Knights have had winning seasons in five of their last six campaigns. They made their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2019 since making back-to-back trips in 2004 and 2005. They project to be a middle-of-the-pack team this year in the AAC, with coaches tabbing them as the sixth best team in the conference.
Tuesday, Feb. 7 @ Tulane: The Bearcats will travel to New Orleans for their second game against the Green Wave.
Saturday, Feb. 11 vs. South Florida: The Bulls will make the visit to Cincinnati to face the Bearcats for a second time this season.
Wednesday, Feb. 15 @ East Carolina: Cincinnati hits the road to play the Pirates in the second game of the head-to-head matchup.
Sunday, Feb. 19 @ Central Florida: The Bearcats head further south to play on the road in their last regular season matchup against UCF.
Wednesday, Feb. 22 vs. Temple: In the latter matchup between the two schools, the Bearcats will host Temple in Cincinnati.
Sunday, Feb. 26 @ Memphis: In the final true road game of the season for the Bearcats, they will head to Memphis to play the Tigers before the regular season finale.
Sunday, March 5 vs. Southern Methodist: The Bearcats will hold their senior night against the Mustangs in the final game of the regular season before conference tournament play begins.
AAC Tournament/NCAA Tournament
The AAC tournament will take place beginning Thursday, March 9 and will continue through Sunday, March 12. The tournament will be held at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. Depending on the seeding based on regular season records from all AAC teams, Cincinnati will play their first game either March 9 or March 10. The tournament has a single elimination format and the winner of the tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament is March 12. The following schedule lays out the dates of the games for each round:
- First Four: March 14-15
- First round: March 16-17
- Second round: March 18-19
- Sweet 16: March 23-24
- Elite Eight: March 25-26
- Final Four: April 1
- Championship game: April 3