Two weeks ago it was UC that was on top of their game; not so anymore. The Bearcats have lost three straight and struggled mightily in Piscataway last Saturday. The Bearcats had a less than impressive shooting night at a 35 percent clip. The only exceptions were Dion Dixon and Yancy Gates, who went a combined 13-21.Perhaps the biggest reason for the loss was not an inability to make shots but a lack of second half defense. UC held Eli Carter — Rutgers' best player — in check in the first half, allowing only 2 points. In the second 20 minutes of play Carter exploded for 15 points and buried the Bearcats.
Both Xavier and the University of Cincinnati basketball teams are in the preseason Top 25 coaches poll released today, with Xavier checking in at No. 15 and the Bearcats at No. 22. North Carolina received 31 of the possible 32 first-place votes to take the top spot, with Kentucky, Ohio State, UConn and Syracuse rounding out the top five.