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Crushing Semifinal Loss to Cincinnati May Have Burst UCF’s NCAA Bubble

Knights now have to sweat it out until Selection Monday

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 07 AAC Women’s Tournament - Wichita v UCF Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It all looked so good for the UCF Knights at halftime of their American semifinal game against Cincinnati. UCF was up 13 early in the third when Cincinnati went on a 22-1 run through the beginning of the fourth and then held on for the 57-51 victory, eliminating the Knights from the tournament.

The loss not only prevents UCF from a third shot at UConn for the conference title - an admittedly difficult task in and of itself - but may have booted UCF from the NCAA Tournament altogether.

What happens now?

The Knights are now 20-10 with an 11-5 conference record and an RPI of 36.

However, Charlie Creme of ESPN, who monitors bracketology on the women’s side, has UCF as the first team out of the tournament as of 10 a.m. ET Monday, along with Bradley, St. John’s and Georgia Tech.

James Madison, Western Kentucky, Boston College and Old Dominion are the last four in, with BC taking the Knights’ slot, according to Creme.

BC is 20-12 and 11-7 in the ACC, having just lost to ACC champion NC State in the conference semis. The Eagles (RPI #62) were the 6 seed in the ACC, and knocked off 3-seed Duke (RPI #26) to get to that point.

Despite being 26 spots ahead of BC in the RPI with comparable overall conference records, the Knights will now have to sweat it out over the next seven days to see if they get an at-large bid to the dance.

Selection Monday is March 16th at 7 p.m. on ESPN.