Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Kansas Jayhawks Live Score and Stats – March 13, 2024 GameTracker

Kansas City, Mo. (AP) Cincinnati coach Wes Miller admits he's late getting ready to face No. 16 Kansas in the second round of the Big 12 Tournament, and a big reason he doesn't know how the Jayhawks will play is without Hunter Dickinson and Kevin McCuller Jr.

Two of the conference's leading players left Wednesday night with injuries.

“That was tough. You take out two guys that have done a lot all year, on both ends of the floor, and you don't know how they're going to adjust. That part is tough,” Miller said. “I thought our guys did a good job with the game plan.”

So good, in fact, that the Bearcats were able to empty their bench in the final minute.

Dan Skillings Jr. scored 25 points, John Newman III added 12 and the No. 11 Bearcats won 72-52, another important win for their resume as they look to enter the NCAA Tournament.

Next up for Cincinnati (20-14) is 14th-ranked Baylor — the third seed in the league — in Thursday's quarterfinals.

“We didn't start the year saying, 'Hey, the goal is to get 20 wins. We're not popping champagne or anything like that,” Miller said. “You recognize the things that are worth it, and getting 20 wins is one thing.”

Dickinson missed last weekend's 30-point loss to Houston with a dislocated shoulder, while McCuller is dealing with a knee injury. Coach Bill Self expected both to practice Monday ahead of the NCAA tournament, but that didn't help when the 12-time Big 12 Tournament champions stepped on the floor against the Bearcats.

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In fact, the Jayhawks got things even worse when, trailing 43-38 with just over 10 minutes to go, they saw Elmarco Jackson come up with a rebound, then saw KJ Adams Jr. hit the floor for a fast break and briefly exit. game.

Adams returned with 22 points to lead No. 6 Kansas (22-10). Jackson also finished with five.

“Obviously we were poor offensively and didn't make shots — just didn't make any shots,” Self said, “tonight, things had to go really well for us to have a chance shooting the basketball.”

The Jayhawks were remarkably close in the second half.

Tay Tay Thomas, who hit seven 3s and scored 29 points in Cincinnati's opening win over West Virginia, was hot from behind the arc in the first half. Simas Lukosius, who hit seven 3s and scored 31 a day earlier, did some damage at the rim. By the time the Jayhawks came up empty on the final possession of the first half, they faced a 38-25 hole.

Kansas held the Bearcats to a 1-for-13 start from the field in the second half, and they were helped by a pro-Jayhawks crowd inside the T-Mobile Center that roared as their team closed to within 40-38. 13:30 to go.

But Kansas missed open looks that gave the Bearcats a chance to rebuild their lead.

“At that start of the second half, we were pretty stagnant. We had good looks early on and they just weren't going and we just got a little tight and stopped playing aggressively,” Miller said. “I thought our guys looked around and said, 'We're going to do it,' and we got aggressive again, and then we had some good things happen.”

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The silver lining

After missing the Big 12 tournament last year, Self was sidelined again when he was hospitalized with a heart problem. Before playing in the NCAA Tournament without the Hall of Fame coach, Kansas went to the finals without him, where they lost to Texas.

“Yes, a year ago today I was confused,” said Self. “Yes, from that standpoint, I feel a lot better than I did a year ago, and I'm not exactly happy or feeling good today.”


Cincinnati lost 62-59 at Baylor on Jan. 13 when Lukosius missed two 3s in the closing seconds. The rematch will be even tougher as the Bears rest and play the Bearcats for the third time in three days.

Kansas was once considered a potential No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament. Now, we may be looking at line number 4 or 5 on Test Sunday. The big question is how much the selection committee will weigh the Jayhawks' injuries.

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