After opening Big 12 play with a 78-67 loss to the Texas Tech Red Raiders at the Moody Center on Saturday, the No. 25 Texas Longhorns head on the road Tuesday for a matchup against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Fifth Third Arena, the first conference game between the two programs.
For head coach Rodney Terry and Texas, it’s only the second true road game of the season following the 86-65 demolition in Milwaukee last month at the hands of former head coach Shaka Smart and Marquette.
Fifth Third Arena promises to be an equally hostile environment with Cincinnati entering the game at 12-2 and ranked No. 29 nationally in KenPom.com’s adjusted efficiency metric with the No. 54 offense and No. 25 offense. Led by third-year head coach Wes Miller, the Bearcats opened conference play with an impressive 71-60 win over the Cougars in Provo by holding BYU to 32.8-percent shooting from the field and 28.3-percent shooting from three, a stifling defensive effort that included 18 forced turnovers. Forward Viktor Lakhin paced Cincinnati with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting, one of three players to score in double figures for the Bearcats. At 13.9 points per game and 8.4 rebounds per game, Lakhin leads Cincinnati in both categories with guards Dan Skillings Jr. and Day Day Thomas also averaging in double digits scoring.
Texas junior guard Tyrese Hunter is leading the Longhorns in scoring over the last four games at 18.3 points per game while shooting 57.1 percent from the floor, including 58.3 percent from three-point range, topping the 20-point mark in each of his last two games.
In the loss to Texas Tech, sophomore forward Dillon Mitchell recorded his sixth double-double this season with his 16-point, 11-rebound effort., also tying his career high with four assists. Over 38 games last season, Mitchell only recorded one double-double.
The Longhorns also hit the glass effectively against the Red Raiders despite the loss, finishing plus-11 in rebounding with a 15-4 advantage in offensive rebounds that produced a 21-5 edge in second-chance points.
Defensively, however, Texas struggled, allowing Texas Tech to shoot 52.8 percent from the floor and 46.7 percent from beyond the arc while giving up 21 free throws thanks to 18 fouls whistled on the Longhorns.
Cincinnati leads the all-time series 2-0 with the last meeting a 65-59 win in Nashville in 2012.
How to watch
TV: Big 12 Now/ESPN+
Time: 6:00 p.m. Central
Odds: Cincinnati is a five-point favorite, according to Draftkings.
Odds/lines are subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.