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Bearcats Breakfast 1.9.12

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Want to start off today with an invitation to all of the loyal blog readers -- and even you slackers that show up only when you hear I wrote more about facial hair.

We're going to have a UC-Georgetown Watch Party/TweetUp tonight at Martino's on Vine. It appears we'll be set up upstairs. The guys from Ballin Is A Habit, who are on their cross-country tour will be there taking the game in with us. (Look for more from them later this week)

Should be a good time and a chance for those of you I haven't met in person, which is almost all of you, to swing by, chat and you can tell me how young I look compared to the sketch that makes me appear on the verge of collecting MediCare.

Let's eat....

--- Obviously, this is a Bearcats blog, so I try to keep it relatively UC-centric, but I can't help but briefly deviate today.

Barry Larkin, my sports idol growing up may be announced as the latest member of the Hall of Fame today. Everybody has that player when they were a kid. The one player who you always said you were when you played imaginary games in your backyard or whose number you grabbed out of the uniform bin in little league.

For me, as a young kid growing up in Cincinnati, I wore No. 11 and played shortstop. In any sport I play to this day, I always wear No. 11.

I went to Moeller, where Larkin is revered as one of the great Big Moe products. I spent my formative years taking in his Wire-to-Wire World Series title and then an MVP season. He was the perfect role model on and off the field. He played the game the right way, always said the right things and took the high road.

And he could rake.

Today, as well as the day he's inducted in Cooperstown, would be one of the cool moments where an idol who you always thought was under appreciated (how many All-Star Game starts did Ozzie Smith unjustly steal from him?) earns his due.

A HOF nod for Larkin would be a win for all the kids in the city like me that grew up positively affected by the way he played and handled himself. Mothers and fathers should be role models, not necessarily athletes, but when athletes do set the perfect example, it can have a significant impact. That's what I'll hopefully be celebrating today if Barry Larkin earns his rightful spot in the Hall.

--- Jon Heyman of CBSsports.com
backs up my point.

--- Jayson Stark reveals his ballot with Larkin as a no-brainer.

--- John Erardi finds parallels
between Larkin and Rose.

--- Moving on to the Bearcats,
if you missed it, I broke down some of the concerning trends UC is facing as they move forward from the St. John's loss in yesterday's Morning After blog.

--- UC runs into a Georgetown team dealing with similar circumstances. They come off a disappointing loss, their first in conference this season and are struggling to hit 3-point shots. The Hoyas were 2 of 14 from deep against WVU.

--- Bill Koch looks at bouncing back from a loss in a difficult place to play.

--- Of course, two of UC's biggest wins last year came against Georgetown. The Bearcats defense throttled the Hoyas, holding them to only 46 points at their place. It was UC's first road win against a ranked team in seven years.

For Georgetown fans, it was also the day Chris Wright broke his hand and their season fell apart (no need to bring that up to the BIAH guys tonight, they're Georgetown fans).

Of course, the Hoyas return trip to Cincy the final day of the season was the shining moment of last year's run to the tournament. The 22-point drubbing was a coronation of the rebuilding project and return to relevance.

The Cats also beat Mizzou in the first round of the tournament at the Verizon Center, so it's not an uncomfortable environment for them.

--- A quick look inside the KenPom breakdown of GU. The Hoyas are ranked No. 13 by his numbers. None of their stats jump off the page at you. They are one of the better teams in the country defensively, as they rank 14th in defensive efficiency and 28th in effective FG% defense.

More than anything, Georgetown has been finding ways to win. They came back from 20 down to beat Marquette last week, but couldn't topple the deficit against WVU.

The Hoyas showed some serious resolve in their win a Louisville, holding off a wild Cardinals charge where they pulled even with a little more than a minute to go. Georgetown settled in and executed critical possessions with Yum! Center crowd going bonkers.

--- Key stat tonight: Georgetown turnovers. UC ranks second in the conference in turnover-percentage defense while the Hoyas are in the middle of the pack protecting the basketball and had 15 turnovers against West Virginia. If UC can force 17 or more turnovers, they win the game.

--- A win tonight would be victory
No. 100 for Mick Cronin at UC. 

--- I'm late on this from last week, Doc wrote a story on the divergent directions of UC-XU since the brawl for Sports Illustrated.

--- For anybody who is still paying attention five weeks later, the anti-climatic conclusion to the national title hunt is tonight with Bama-LSU. The only good news to come out of college football this week will be that changes involving the postseason appear to be on the horizon.

--- Actually, there is good news
, the future Big East members went 5-2 this bowl season.

Winners: UC, Rutgers, SMU, Houston, Boise State
Losers: Louisville, San Diego State

From the I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin' files: ACC went 1-6.

--- Randomness...

--- Charles Barkley hoste
d SNL this weekend and outside of a brief reference to UC in the Liberty Bowl, there was this sketch with Chuck taking shots at Shaq and Inside the NBA.

--- Tweet of the day: Comes from the fallout from Ben Roethlisberger's ridiculous fedora he sported at his postgame press conference.

"@Elisemenaker: Big Ben murdered Professor Plum in the dining room with the candlestick"

--- The #DeOccupyNBC Movement can officially come to a close, since whoever was running NBC Primetime was either fired or flogged into submission as they admitted Community will return in the spring.

--- Gary Busey is doing weird car dealership ads? This seems so out of character for him.

--- GPS has added an "avoid ghetto" feature. Hopefully, "avoid Kenwood Mall" is right around the corner.

--- The dropping of Cable TV is a fad I won't be jumping on board with anytime soon, but I may soon be in the minority.

--- It's Cashmere Wright's birthday, so I'll post the last minute of the Oklahoma game, one of the brightest moments of his breakthrough season.



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