UC has finally made a statement worthy of a doubters surrender. They swept Georgetown en route to an impressive Big East regular season record earning them a first round bye. The 24 overall wins and 11 wins in the Big East ended the excuses that were as frequent as a businessman at a Las Vegas brothel...allegedly.
The Bearcats displayed tough defense and big plays when they needed it to solidify their invitation to the NCAA tournament after a long drought. No one can say they backed in; no one can say they conference is weak; and not one person can say if, if or if; They deserve to go because they won 11 games in the toughest hoop conference in America, period. They got a first round bye as a result of the league performance while teams like Villanova (whom many of you thought were better) have to start playing right away.
So lets enjoy Big East tournament with a team that returned the University of Cincinnati basketball program back to its rightful place of residence: The NCAA tournament. Here's to a return engagement next year.
It's Getting Better All The Time
I also want to pay respect to UC women's coach Jamelle Elliott, who I think has this program heading in the right direction. Lets face it, when you come into a league with UConn and Rutgers and everyone else has been recruiting to get on par with them, you're fighting up hill in the most challenging of ways. I know at times its hard for her, but I think as she continues to recruit top flight players; the kind who won't be scared of the competition and who will buy into her Gino, Jr. philosophy of take no prisoners basketball, you will see success.
She doesn't get the support she was used to at UConn as a player and coach but she will before its all said and done. Coach Elliott we are watching; we are impressed and we believe. We may not say it enough but I'm saying it now. I think you will create a program with talent and wins sooner than later. You were more competitive this year and got some much needed wins and now its just adding and padding the win total.
Keep working hard and the next time I write about a UC team getting in the NCAA tournament after a long absence, I most certainly feel like it will be you and your young ladies.
That's the way I see it, sitting in The Box Seat.