Sean Kilpatrick had 21 points, nine rebounds and four assists as the Bearcats survived an upset bid in the American Athletic Conference tournament quarterfinals in Memphis, Tenn.

Justin Jackson added 14 points, eight rebounds and four blocks for top-seeded Cincinnati (27-5), which advances to play No. 4 Connecticut in Friday's semifinals. Kevin Johnson went 3-of-3 from the floor, including both 3-point attempts, for eight points off the bench.

Isaiah Sykes led ninth-seeded Central Florida (13-18) with 21 points and nine rebounds. Kasey Wilson added 11 points and Calvin Newell had 10 for the Knights.

A pair of steals lead to a Johnson 3-pointer and a Troy Caupain fast-break layup as Cincinnati pushed its lead to 45-35 with just under 11 minutes left. Newell capped an 8-0 run with a steal and layup and after a pair of Cincinnati free throws, Wilson hit a 3-pointer to cut the Bearcats lead to 47-46 with less than eight minutes remaining.

Jackson's block led to a Kilpatrick fast break for a five-point lead with five minutes left before Sykes scored five straight points, including a three-point play with 2:55 left to tie the game at 53. A goaltending call on Jackson's floater and Johnson's 3-pointer with 35 seconds left gave the Bearcats a final cushion.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Kilpatrick and Jackson combined for 18 points during a 22-4 Cincinnati run for a 26-14 lead with just over seven minutes left in the first half, but Central Florida rallied to within 30-27 by halftime. ... Sykes hit the floor hard on a foul in the final minute and had to be carried by a teammate to the bench. ... Central Florida entered the game leading the league in rebounds but lost the battle on the boards 33-31 in this one.