Cincinnati and St. John's keep running into each other in reglar season play, trying to crack that upper "respect" level of the Big East Conference.
But in terms of confidence, the teams are running in opposite directions. Part of the confidence gap is the opponents they've played - Cincinnati got the struggling Notre Dame and Pittsburgh to start, while St. John's got a pair of confident teams in Connecticut and Louisville.
That doesn't change the fact that the Red Storm were blasted in the first half of those games, look far better in transition than in the half court, and could use some defensive improvements. And that doesn't change that Cincinnati demolished the Fighting Irish and are hitting all kinds of shots while defended. They have shooters in Sean Kilpatrick and Jaquon Parker, Dion Dixon can get buckets, Cashmere Wright finally looks like a point guard, and they have forward depth in Yancy Gates, Justin Jackson, and more.
Oh, and they are always looking to steal the ball.
They're all tough matchups for the young team.
See also: 5 questions with Bearcats Blog | St. John's enters familiar Midwest road trip | Game 15: St. John's at Cincinnati Bearcats (preview) | From the time Machine: Cincinnati vs St. John's recent history