The last time that Bob Huggins and the West Virginia Mountaineers came to town, I thought that Bearcat fans were ready to turn the page and fully get behind Mick Cronin.
If you think back to that night, it could not have gone more perfectly from the UC perspective. Huggs was moved to tears by a pre-game video tribute and lengthy standing ovation, and every fan in attendance was given a sign that said, "Thanks Huggs." Best of all,
That night on the radio post-game show, I asked Mick if he thought the game brought closure to the entire Huggins vs. Zimpher saga.
"No I don't, and I don't worry about it," Mick said that night. "I think the answer to the whole situation is to just keep building our program. The story will gradually be focused more and more around our team if we continue to recruit better players and become a better team."
I still think that night was a potential turning point, but we'll never know because of what transpired over the next two weeks. With Mike Williams out with a knee injury, the Bearcats lost at
It got worse. With their confidence reeling, the Bearcats then lost in the Big East Tournament to a DePaul team that had gone 0-18 in league play during the regular season.
In just 12 days,
It was terrible four game stretch for his program, but Mick has done exactly what he said he would do that night: Recruit better players and become a better team.
Wednesday's win over Rutgers lifted
Seven of their remaining 10 regular season games are against RPI Top 35 teams, so nothing can be taken for granted, but the Bearcats have put themselves in a solid position to be dancing again in March.
A win over
This time, I hope that feeling will last.
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Speaking of young Sam, he'll be in attendance on Saturday night. Enjoy this week's photo.