Bearcats Breakfast 2.10.11

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"We've got no food, we've got no jobs...our pets' heads are falling off!"

That may be one of the great one-liners from Dumb and Dumber, but it more accurately portrays the level of crazy Big East basketball has escalated to.

Between UC's wild finish against DePaul and the four insane games of Wednesday night, you can officially start to taste the month of March.

First Georgetown overcomes a late deficit to pull off its seventh consecutive victory, this time in the Carrier Dome for its first win there since 2002. Next, Louisville and Notre Dame head to OT on the back of a remarkable Irish comeback at the Joyce Center with Carleton Scott and Ben Hansbrough torching the Cards. Third, Marquette overcomes a 16-point second half deficit to avoid what would have been a devastating upset at South Florida, 59-58.

Then, there was this. From the most unlikely source. Maybe the wildest finish of the season in the Big East. Rutgers, down 12 with three minutes left, has Johnathan Mitchell bury Nova on a four-point play at the buzzer, 77-76.

Across the college landscape, five ranked teams lost and, oh yeah, some rivalry game in Carolina saw Duke overcome a 14-point halftime deficit to win at Cameron Indoor.

The positioning and desperation modes have set in and this season is about to become very, very compelling. And, without doubt, the Bearcats will be right in the middle of it.

As discussed here yesterday, a very defining final seven games are ahead of the Cats and they have more left to prove than probably any other team still left in the tournament. 

Bill Koch spoke to Jerry Palm and Joe Lunardi yesterday, who made the same claims.

Let's eat...

--- The Bearcats need for a signature win is well-documented. They've shown a remarkable ability to beat the teams they should and lose as underdogs. They're a bit of a Vegas dream in that respect.

Consistency of effort every night explains the lack of a bad loss on the schedule, only they still search for that breakout game seemingly every other Big East team has been able to enjoy.

Here are some of the wins of the bottom nine against the elite teams across the Big East (counting the elite as the seven currently ranked in the top 15: Pitt, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Villanova, Louisville, UConn, Syracuse): 

Providence: vs. Villanova, vs Louisville

Seton Hall: @ Syracuse

Rutgers: vs. Villanova

St. John's: vs Georgetown, vs Notre Dame

Marquette: vs Syracuse, vs Notre Dame

West Virginia: @Georgetown

Cincinnati: None

USF: None (OT loss @UConn)

DePaul: None

The common thread is seven of the nine wins came at home. And WVU's win @Gtown came in the middle of the Hoyas early season freefall. And I'm still baffled by the Hall dropping 90 in the Carrier Dome.

Point being, the Cats are yet to face any of these teams in Fifth Third Arena this season.

Of course, they will have three of them coming here over the final three weeks of the season.

People can say the Bearcats still have plenty to prove, but how many other teams have proven anything discounting games against the top teams outside their own gym?

The answer: 2.

--- Sidenote for Feb. 19, that game at Providence (14-10, 3-8) is absolutely frightening. Here's their last eight games at Dunkin Donuts Center:

USF, W, 68-63; Villanova, W, 83-68; Louisville, W, 72-67; Pitt, L, 83-79; St. John's, L, 67-65; Sacred Heart, W, 84-76; Alabama (7-1 in SEC), W, 82-70.

Good luck there. You're going to need it. Everybody does.

--- Box Miller with his take on Yancy Gates.

--- The Bearcats game against Louisville on Feb. 16 will be on ESPN.

--- Dana O'Neil alert with a standard fantastic piece on Kenneth Faried from just down the road in Kentucky.  

--- The NCAA tournament will be staggering more tip times over more networks so you and I can see every game in its entirety. Just thinking about those first four days of the tournament makes me want to hug somebody.

--- On to some randomness...

--- Is the rest of the world really that much smarter than us? Are everybody's kids doing things like this? I need a nap.

--- The man who taught us that Germans love David Hasselhoff is getting a show on Comedy Central. I love Norm, but his humor never seems to translate to 30-minute TV.  

--- A fantastic/efficient way to keep up with the record losing streak.

--- Louisville's Kyle Kuric went all NBA Jam on Scott Martin. Boomshackalacka, indeed.


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