Plenty to get to today considering this is supposed to be one of the slowest sports days of the year. We can thank the think tank over at the NCAA for pushing back the decision on expansion into this All-Star Break for our surprising influx of news.
Let's get to it...
--- The NCAA unveiled the breakdown for the revamped NCAA tournament opening round yesterday. It will be a hybrid including the final four at-large teams who will take part.
Pat Forde thinks the NCAA is making the best of a bad decision.
Rush The Court has an absolutely unnecessary prediction of what the bracket will look like next March.
Of interest for UC fans is that it is believed Dayton could continue to be the site for these games, but from the Josh Katzowitz school of "it would be unbelievable if it wasn't completely believable," the NCAA can't seem to live to any of the timetables they gave UD, according to the DDN.
--- There were many arguments that the addition of the at-large teams is another win for Big Six conferences, but as RPI expert Jerry Palm points out, the lowest seeded at-large teams, including ties, since 2001, only eight have come from major conferences, the other 13 from the little guys.
--- Rivals posted a list of the breakout backcourt players for the coming season and it includes Cashmere Wright.
While most people focused on how Lance Stephenson turned a corner last season, we never quite witnessed Wright do the same. Wright showed flashes of brilliance in the game against Providence, South Florida and the late rally at Louisville where he looked like the best player on the floor.
He claimed the game slowed for him and he was more comfortable out there after his performance against U of L. During that six-game strech he averaged 10.5 points.
It ended there. He averaged 4.1 points in his final 10 games, having more assists than turnovers in only half of those.
It's a matter of consistency. Of course, you could say that about seemingly every player on UC's roster. But Wright in particular has shown more high-end potential than anyone on the floor. He must learn to finish at the rim. If he can do that, he will be a double-digit scorer/distributor the Cats need at PG next season.
--- Surprising amount of basketball on the tubes yesterday, but on to more football. The folks at College Football Nation picked some of the top grudge matches next year. UC-Pitt made the cut from Brian Bennett.
And that's just another excuse to yet again link to this.
If you are taking one UC football road trip next year, in my opinion, the drive to Morgantown will be well worth it. Plus, you can experience the glory that is West Virginia, a state that proudly sells Bacardi 151 in its gas stations.
Oh, but you may want to avoid certain spots like this on campus if WVU were to win. I can only assume at least one mason jar of moonshine fueled that blaze.
--- Maybe the most underrated road game of the year will be the one to Storrs, Conn. The Hartford Courant's Desmond Conner takes a look at UC and a bit of the rivalry. The last time UC went to UConn, they were bludgeoned, 40-16.
--- Rising redshirt freshman DB Romel Dismuke is transferring to Buffalo, according to the Buffalo News. His opportunities will be more abundant there with Jeff Quinn and company, compared to a young secondary he had not outplayed to this point at UC.
--- Of course, this is a big day for college football since NCAA 11 came out. It may be hard to get excited to blocking improvements in video games, but this is actually kind of cool.
And using last year's UC video-game offense in an actual video game will probably be even cooler.
--- I wonder how many baseball players that didn't win the vote would take time to do this? Probably not as many as we would like. Luckily, UC's Kevin Youkilis would. Class act.
--- As many of you know I am not a product of the University of Cincinnati, even though I grew up here. I ended up going to Ohio University. I loved my time there and wouldn't trade it for anywhere. Only, when things like this surface, I would at least listen to other offers.