Happy New Year, Breakfast folks. Here's hoping you weren't forced to wear any ridiculous hats or 2011 glasses or actually listen to the metrosexual nightmare that was the Backstreet Boys-New Kids on the Block boy band reunion.
Unfortunately, my lack of control of the remote forced my New Year to start off in a less than satisfactory fashion. Not a good omen, to say the least.
So, let's move on to a more optimistic scenario, the undefeated, 14-0 Bearcats basketball team....
--- The Top 25 polls will come out early this afternoon. I fully expect UC to be in both of them. They were knocking on the door last week and with two resounding wins against Big East opponents, this should be more than enough top place them back in the rankings.
Here's last week's rankings. The AP poll is more of a liklihood than the coaches poll. For whatever reason, the coaches have been down on UC all season.
--- I tweeted this, I wrote in my postgame column about the maturity this team showed in the win against Seton Hall and I will say it again now: This is the first time since UC joined the Big East it won back-to-back games in the Big East by double digits.
To me, this isn't some throwaway stat. This team is able to put teams away. It's able to assure none of the Big East craziness that so defined last season happens to them against teams they are suppposed to beat.
You couldn't say that about any other Bearcats basketball team in the Mick Cronin era.
--- Scott Springer wrote about the recruitment of Yancy Gates and some of the backstory behind his high school career.
What Gates hoped to be a breakout season hasn't turned into the statistical spike everyone hoped for (he's averaging 11.5 points, 6.6 rebounds), but he's making much better decisions and a larger impact on the game than he has in either of his first two seasons.
The job he did against Herb Pope defensively Friday was phenomenal. Pope only managed one offensive board.
--- Enough Big East talk for a few days, it's Shootout Week. It's coming later in the year thanks to the Worldwide Leader. But can't agree with Cronin more, the sacrifice needed to be made to put this game on major national television where it belongs.
--- Shannon Russell wrote a general preview on where both teams stand as they enter the game.
---The two dominating wins to open Big East play didn't fill up the national bandwagon, in fact, it actually had the opposite effect. The haters are coming out in full force with UC one of seven undefeated teams.
Jeff Goodman calls them pretenders (should be noted this was written prior to Seton Hall, but still, hateration nonetheless).
--- Gary Parrish still has UC outside of his Top 25 plus one. Of course, he also still has UConn in the top 7 after being dismantled by Pitt and nearly losing at home to USF.
--- Jerry Palm takes UC's resume behind the woodshed. I almost didn't want to post this because it is standard Palm number-crunching.
The guy is the math wizard who answers the question of how to approach a girl with an algorithm. It's all about the numbers.
He is obviously obsessed with UC's RPI and SOS and hasn't seen a lick of the way this team has played and, I'd be willing to be, not a minute of their games all season.
Palm contends UC needs to win 12 BE games to make the tournament. I can't put into words how crazy the argument would have to be to keep UC out if they were 23-7, 11-7, in the top 8 of the Big East (probably better than that) with at least four wins against Top 25 teams.
That wouldn't be enough, Jerry? You may want to check the batteries on your calculator.
I'm pretty sure Palm will have to follow BuckNasty at the Hater's Ball. Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate!
--- UPDATE: Our man Dan Hoard did a little research to rail against Palm's calculations.
--- It's two weeks away, but the matchup in Syracuse will be a fun game. As Beyond the Arc notes, the Orange are good, but not without flaws. Both Nova (Sunday) and Cuse are beatable. There's certainly a better chance going there and winning than going to Pitt.
--- Villanova has won seven consecutive games and 44 consecutive games at home at The Pavillion. Yikes.
--- Some randomness...
--- Wait, so all I have to do is be cooler than Macauley Culkin and I can get Mila Kunis? Maybe 2011 will be a winner after all!
--- This kid better hope the guy behind him wasn't nursing a headache, because this type of annoyance would not be tolerated.
--- As if Allen Iverson's reputation weren't sullied enough by being relegated to playing in Turkey. It turns out he loves TGIFriday's.
--- Let's see, I'd like to rob this Super 8 motel, but I'd would prefer to do it with the most awkward, antique weaponry available. Zanzabar!!