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NCAA Bracket 2012: Cincinnati To Play Texas In First Round

After landing the No. 6 seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, the Cincinnati Bearcats will be playing 11th-seeded Texas to kick things off in the first round. The Bearcats received an at-large bid from the tournament's selection committee after a 24-10 record through the regular season and Big East tournament.

The Bearcats spent a good deal of time flirting with the bubble early on during Big East play. The Bearcats struggled at times out of the gate and lost three in a row in late January. Fortunately the Bearcats started to put together a convincing stretch run that ultimately ended with a loss in the Big East tournament. That run included a win over Syracuse in the semifinals and that was more than enough to push the Bearcats all the way up to a No. 6 seed.

Cincinnati now begins preparation for a game against the final team to get in from the Big 12 conference, Texas. Texas received an at large bid out of the Big 12 and was likely one of the final teams selected by the committee. While the Longhorns played in a tough conference and challenged some very strong opponents, they were never able to get over the hump and get a signature win against the likes of Kansas, Missouri or Baylor.

Texas is led by J'Covan Brown and they head into the tournament coming of their third loss of the season to the Missouri Tigers in the Big 12 tournament. A win over Iowa State in the Big 12 quarterfinals likely clinched the spot for Rick Barnes and the Longhorns.

For more coverage of Cincinnati in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, visit SB Nation Cleveland's StoryStream. Click here for a link to our NCAA bracket 2012.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.