NEW YORK — Back when he played in the Big East Conference, Sean Kilpatrick could count on playing every year at Madison Square Garden, capped off by the conference tournament in March.
But now that he’s playing his final season in the American Athletic Conference, times have changed.
Kilpatrick and the Bearcats will play their postseason tournament at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, so their game against Pittsburgh in the Jimmy V Classic had special meaning for the White Plains, N.Y. native.
“It was only just recently when we switched over and we looked at the schedule and we saw we was going to end up playing Pitt here at the Garden,’ Kilpatrick said after Cincinnati held on to beat previously unbeaten Pitt, 44-43, on a putback layup by Titus Rubles. “It really hit us that this was going to be our last game in the Garden.”
Kilpatrick went for nine points on 4-for-13 shooting — well below the 19.3 points he entered averaging.
But a win’s a win and he’ll take it.
“It’s just an amazing feeling to win a game in the Garden,” he said. “This is a great experience.”
And for the last time….unless Cincinnati winds up back here in the East Regional in March.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.