#2 UC Bearcats Set for Tuesday Night NIT Quarterfinal at #1 Indiana State, 9:00

By Marisol Nicholson

3 26 2024





CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati men’s basketball team is geared up for its first postseason road game, Tuesday at 9 p.m. against 30-6 Indiana State in the NIT Quarterfinals.

The winner gets either VCU or Utah in Indianapolis’ Hinkle Fieldhouse next Tuesday to begin the Final Four.


  • Jizzle James’ first-career start saw him post career-highs in points (25) and minutes (38). Only one other player in the Wes Miller era has played more in a non-OT game. James posted the highest-scoring game by a Bearcat freshman since Jarron Cumberland’s 26 vs. South Florida in 2017.
  • All-Defensive Big 12 honoree John Newman III (553 points at UC) earned his 1,000th point on a first-half free-throw, promptly leading to points to the sky and fans with an impromptu game-pause as his teammates on the floor celebrated the heart and soul of the team. Newman (8.8 rpg over the last 4 games) also has three double-digit board games this year, all in big moments (#5 Houston, #16 Kansas, Bradley in NIT).
  • Newman and James are the only Bearcats to not miss a game. With one more start, Newman will tie Dion Dixon and Sean Kilpatrick of the 2012 Sweet 16 team for the most in a single UC season. UC is 15th defensively in KenPom (third in Big 12 behind UH and Iowa State), and Newman is averaging 8.8 boards over the last four games.
  • Aziz Bandaogo (HM All-Big 12) averaged 12.3 points and 11.5 rebounds per game in Utah Valley’s NIT Final Four run last year. This year, he has helped UC to 17th in rebound margin (7.4 per game).
  • Bandaogo is averaging 1.7 blocks per game, including four swats against No. 14 Baylor and three more against San Francisco and Bradley. It’s the highest average for a Bearcat since Octavius Ellis’ 2.0 in 2014-15. His 10 blocks the last three games are his most over any such-stretch this season.
  • Dan Skillings Jr. has scored in double-figures seven-straight games, including 25 against No. 14 Kansas and 17 in the second half of the Bradley game. UC is 17-7 this year, and 21-7 for his career, when he scores in double-figures. He has six 20-point games this year and seven for his career, plus 19.0 ppg over the last 4.
  • Simas Lukosius, who hit the winning 3-pointer with down 2 with 3 seconds to play in OT versus San Francisco, is 13-for-23 from deep in the NIT (56.5 percent). He was also 7-for-12 in the Big 12 opening-round win over WVU. The 6-foot-8 junior will function as a second point guard to James and is 24 points away from 1,000.
  • Cincinnati is 6-2 in March after going 4-2 last year and just 1-3 in Miller’s first year. This is his seventh postseason that also includes the 2018 and 2021 NCAA Tournaments with UNC Greensboro.
  • The Bearcats are 12-2 when making eight or more treys and 10-12 when making seven or fewer. UC is 19-4 when scoring 70 or more and 3-10 when scoring 69 or fewer.


  • “It was just about doing my job,” he said. “I knew I had to play more. I wanted to get my guys in position to be at their best in creating for each other. I came in with a leader mindset in getting people going, and I knew it would open up for myself too.”
  • James also credited Thomas as someone he learned from all season, and how John Newman III “taught me how to be a professional and take care of business, as well as how to be a college athlete.”


  • Dan Skillings Jr. scored 17 of his 20 points against Bradley in the second half, giving him six 20-point games in his career. Several have come in big stages, beginning with Temple in the 2023 AAC Tournament as a freshman.
  • Others have come at No. 14 Baylor and in the thrashing of No. 16 Kansas at the Big 12 Championship.

vs. Temple (AAC) – 20
Northern Kentucky – 25
Stetson – 29
@ (14) Baylor (starter) – 24
UCF (starter) – 21
vs. (16) Kansas (starter) – 25
Bradley (NIT) (starter) – 20


  • UC was in the Missouri Valley from 1957-70 but missed the Sycamores, who did not join until 1976.
  • Much of the prior meetings occurred before Indiana State re-joined the Division I ranks.
  • The MVC, established in 1907, is the fourth-oldest conference in the nation, trailing only the Big Ten in the Division I ranks.
  • With a win, it would be Cincinnati’s first over a 30-win team (at time of game OR by end of the season) since defeating Houston in the 2019 AAC Championship game. The Cougars were 31-3 at the time and made the Sweet 16.