heartthrob and TV/radio sensation Ken Broo asked me that question on his Sunday
morning sports talk show on Valentine's Day, and after thinking about it for a
second - knowing UC had to play at USF, vs.
I thought they could struggle at USF. I thought they would beat Marquette and DePaul at 5/3. I thought they might have a chance to pull an upset against one of the final three squads on the schedule. I thought UC could still make the NCAA tournament. I just didn't think the Bearcats would.
after losing at South Florida and after falling to
not just the fact the Bearcats have lost that has their fans upset. It's the
way they've lost. The fact that
So, where to now?
Right now, UC is 15-11 and 6-8 in the Big East. The Bearcats sit in a five-way tie for eighth place in the league. In those final four games, I see one win and three losses. I don't have to tell you that, at that point, the Bearcats might not get a call from the NIT.
But think about it this way: if UC can beat DePaul, can upset West Virginia in Morgantown (hey, it happened two years ago with a team not nearly as athletically-talented as the current one) and somehow knock off a Georgetown squad that's 3-4 in its past seven games (hey, the Bearcats swept the Hoyas last season), the Bearcats could have a shot at the NCAA tournament.
Assuming a loss to Villanova - I don't see UC winning that one - that would put the Bearcats 18-12, 9-9. A win or two in the Big East tournament, and you've got a pretty decent resume for inclusion.
Is my scenario a stretch? Yes, it is. Is it impossible? No, I don't think so. Like I said, the chances for an NCAA tournament berth are on life support. But that doesn't mean they're dead quite yet.
- at least to my eyes - Joe Lunardi seems to think UC has a better shot of
making the tournament than the vast majority of the
I know Cronin oftentimes doesn't agree with Lunardi's prognostications. This probably isn't one of those times.
--So, I've been off the grid the past week or so for a number of personal reasons. I've got tons of e-mail and messages I need to answer, so if you sent me something, have a little bit of patience. I'm going to try to get back to you all in the next day or two.