By Bill Koch
The Cincinnati Enquirer
The players were embarrassed. So were the coaches. They had good reason to be.
The University of Cincinnati Bearcats were beaten 93-66 by Louisville a month ago today at Freedom Hall, matching the most lopsided loss in Bob Huggins' 15-year coaching tenure at UC.
But that wasn't the worst of it. The really embarrassing part was that they appeared to quit down the stretch while the Cardinals poured it on.
Today at Fifth Third Arena, the Bearcats get the chance to show Louisville is not 27 points better than UC, and that they are not quitters.
"We were just waiting for this day," said UC forward Armein Kirkland.
No one could have known back then that when the two teams arrived at this juncture, both would be riding two-game losing streaks and trying for a victory to pull them out of their worst funks of the season.
No. 17 UC (17-5, 8-3 Conference USA) has lost four of its last six games; No. 10 Louisville (17-5, 7-4) has lost four of its last five.
"We know there's a sense of urgency now," said UC guard Tony Bobbitt. "Either we're going to fight out of this hole that we're in or we're going to stay in this hole. None of us want to stay in it. We're going to fight."
UC was 13-0 and ranked sixth nationally the last time these teams met. Louisville was 13-1 and ranked fifth. The Bearcats trailed by only four points with 12:46 left in the game but were outscored 37-14 the rest of the way.
Taquan Dean (21 points) and Francisco Garcia (19) did most of the damage offensively for Louisville, but Luke Whitehead, with 18 points and eight rebounds, w