The Cincinnati Bearcats put their undefeated 6-0 record on the line on Saturday when they play host to a Florida Gulf Coast Eagles team that has a deceiving record.
Florida Gulf Coast Eagles vs. Cincinnati Bearcats (-16.5, 141)
Though Florida Gulf Coast has a 1-6 record thus far this season against Division I teams, they have kept games close with their 71-55 loss against UNC Wilmington being the only game they have lost by more than 12 points.
The main reason the Eagles have been as competitive as they have in their games with their performance on the boards, entering the weekend 52nd in the country in rebound rate in games away from home and 42nd in percentage of misses they grab an offensive rebound on in games away from home.
The edge the Florida Gulf Coast has on the glass will be called into question though with Cincinnati 14th in America entering the weekend in rebound rate and getting 7-foot-0 2022-23 WAC Defensive Player of the Year Aziz Bandaogo due to the NCAA initially denying his waiver to play this season as a two-time transfer.
While second chances may be harder to come by for Florida Gulf Coast, the 3-point shooting that was cold at beginning of the season seems to be heating back up to the standard they set during the 2022-23 season.
Over their last three games, the Eagles are shooting 34.4% from 3-point range after shooting a ghastly 21.1% from the outside the arc in their first five games of the season following a 2022-23 season in which they knocked down 35.1% of their 3-point attempts with largely this same core of players.
The tempo in which Florida Gulf Coast plays at has also been a reason for them playing a lot of close games with the team 310th in the country entering the weekend in total possessions per game.
With the Cincinnati being a close to average team in tempo, entering Saturday 156th in possessions per game and with the way Florida Gulf Coast has performed on the boards this season, the Eagles will find themselves in another tight game on Sunday and will look to bust through for that impactful win the covet.
The Play: Florida Gulf Coast +16.5