Bearcats to close out regular season at ECU

The University of Cincinnati men's basketball team is literally limping to the finish line.

After suffering back-to-back losses, the Bearcats are set to wrap up their regular season Sunday at East Carolina.

The status of starting guard Mike Saunders Jr. remains in question.

Cincinnati (9-10, 7-6 American Athletic Conference), which has had five players opt out at some point this season, finished Thursday's home finale against Vanderbilt with only seven available scholarship players after Saunders suffered a game-ending injury on the final play of the first half.

Bearcats stumble to Vanderbilt, 78-64, in home finale at Fifth Third Arena ]

UC coach John Brannen said after the 78-64 loss that the 6-foot freshman, who was on crutches and had a walking boot on his left foot after the game, suffered either a sprained foot or ankle.

"I have no idea how injured he is," Brannen said.

With the depleted roster, guard Mika Adams-Woods was forced to play all 40 minutes against the Commodores and was noticeably drained after the loss.

Bearcats guard Mika Adams-Woods was forced to play all 40 minutes in Thursday's loss to Vanderbilt.

"He was dying at the end, as he should be because he plays so hard," Brannen said. "We just don't have a lot of bodies right now."

After Sunday, the Bearcats will have five days to lick their wounds before opening the AAC tournament Friday against fourth-seeded SMU. Cincinnati will be the fifth seed in the tournament regardless of Sunday's outcome.

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Tipoff: 1 p.m. on Sunday in Greenville, N.C.

TV/Radio: ESPN+/WLW-AM (700)

Series info: This is the 17th meeting between Cincinnati and East Carolina, with UC  owning a 14-2 advantage in the series. The Bearcats have won the last two meetings and are 6-2 all time at ECU.

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