I hope those of you who actually like watching a team win made your way out to Gettler Stadium last night.
Unlike the pro football team in town, the Bearcats seized a huge opportunity by jumping out early and eventually beat the 9th-ranked UConn Huskies to advance to the Big East Final 4. An early score on the UConn goaltender who only had five goals scored against him all year set the tone and UC eventually won 4-1 in penalty kicks. This was a big win for the program and now they will play Providence on Friday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. for the right to play for a BE title.
Plenty of football and basketball fodder coming later today with the football media availability luncheon and final exhibition of the season later in the day. But we'll make some quick hits for you in the Breakfast....
--- As I wrote here yesterday, Butch Jones said on his Monday Big East Coaches Teleconference that it appears QB Zach Collaros will be able to play against West Virginia.
The question Bill Koch of the Enquirer posed was, will he be able to jump start the offense against a stingy WVU defense?
I'd answer is almost assuredly yes. UC averaged 528.3 yards through the previous four games Collaros played but only mustered 277 without him against Syracuse. West Virginia screams, yells and frustrates with the best of them but Collaros was performing as well as he has during his career before the injury.
--- MIke Casazza of the Charleston Daily-Mail writes about how this essentially serves as an elimination game for in terms of realistic hope for the Big East championship for one of these two that entered the season with high expectations.
In that regard, the game to watch will be Thursday night when Pitt travels to UConn. The Panthers -- holding a two game lead on the entire Big East at 3-0 -- have three of their final four games on the road (@UConn, @USF, WVU, @UC). If Pitt loses to UConn on Thursday, the Bearcats would nearly control their own destiny to win the Big East -- as hard as that is to believe at this point.
They could own a tiebreaker by beating Pitt the final game of the season. The question mark would likely be if Syracuse can hold at two losses in conference, to where they would own the tiebreaker on the Cats.
But the old cart, horse analogy probably fits here....first things first, that whole Morgantown trip.
--- Zach Collaros was never offered by WVU or Pitt. He hasn't forgotten about that. This story from the Charleston Gazette.
For the record, I also was never offered by WVU or Pitt, however, as far as I could tell I was only really good at Air Hockey.
--- Scott Springer offers some historical prospective and analysis of this year's version of coon-skin hats and muskets.
I've personally never been a fan of any mascot permitted to carry a gun. Just making the decision to become a mascot in the first place makes you slightly mentally unstable (or maybe that's just my Bobcats), so the idea of a weapon-yeilding, mentally unstable trigger man/woman roaming the sidelines sort of concerns me.
I would support giving the Bearcat a net gun to even the playing field.
--- Don't forget to head to Dave and Buster's on Saturday to watch the game.
--- Brian Bennett offers a video blog of what's at stake in Saturday's games.
--- Indiana University Souteast (NAIA) will take on UC tonight in the final exhibition before opening the season on Monday against Mt. St. Mary's.
IUSE arrives with Jazz Ferguson averaging 36.5 points a game. His name makes him interesting but his game makes him unique.
The Grenadiers will also use a pressing style of play and try to run with UC.
--- I will be conversing on Twitter all game and have a column posted afterward if you want to follow along.