--- Last night I wrote about the Bearcats returning to a familiar position of their back against the wall. Both Dion Dixon and Yancy Gates acknowledged it as the path appears to have cleared. Six games left, go 4-2 and enjoy The Dance. Anything less and the sweat starts running down the forehead Selection Sunday.
The question for Mick Cronin regarding the topic is not necessarily if UC will bounce back against Providence Wednesday night, rather, if they will be able to sustain the urgency over the final three weeks of the regular season.
"Bounceback is one thing," he said. "Showing up every night and playing the way you need to play every night is the challenge. Not just for us, I think for everybody. We are like most good teams, we don't have enough talent to win when we don't play really well."
One look around college basketball this past weekend proved that. There are four or five teams in the country that can get away with not playing well and winning. Most of the others sit in the same category with UC. The parity of the national landscape this year from 6 to 60 is remarkable.
This weekend, five Top 25 teams lost to unranked teams -- all but one at home.
Miami 78, @No. 5 Duke 74
Tennessee 75, @No. 7 Florida 70
Wichita State 89, @No. 15 Creighton 68
Georgia 70, @No. 18 Mississippi State 68
@Princeton 70, No. 21 Harvard 62
I think there's very few of us out there that are maybe like a
Syracuse that can not play well and still win," Cronin said. "Our
guys, we got enough older guys, they understand why you win and why
you lose. It's all about the next game, making sure you are ready to
play against Providence."
--- Speaking of, the Orange did exactly what Mick was talking about last night at Louisville. They didn't play well, necessarily, but found a way to stop the Cards' seven-game win streak.
--- Bill Koch writes about UC's tournament chances being in doubt. True moral of the story in this blog, though, don't listen to Jerry Palm. Ever. Remember, this is the same guy who claimed at midseason UC needed at least 12 Big East wins to make the tourney last year. (For the record, they won 11 and were a solid six seed)
He's fixated with non-conference schedules and lives to crush UC for theirs. He also runs a site called CollegeRPI.com. Considering he stands for one of the most outdated, unrepresentative stats used in sports, it all makes sense.
--- Dana O'Neil breaks out the Big East conference rankings and places UC sixth.
--- Yancy Gates talked yesterday about why he thinks UC can make a run and get into the tournament:
"I think one of the big things is we got enough guys from last year that felt it and they want to feel it again and I think they are willing to do whatever it's going to take to make it back to the tournament. I think that's the most obvious thing we got right now is us guys who felt it and know what we got to do to get there. Kind of grab the young guys and bring them along with us carry them and get us there."
--- The NY Post's Lenn Robbins wrote a piece about NY native Sean Kilpatrick for Valentine's Day. SK loves his mom and basketball. What else can you ask for?
--- Did you know Cashmere Wright loves to bowl and averages nearly 200? You do now.
--- Down the Drive does a nice job breaking down the turnover margin issue. That's the stat which was driving this team during their run earlier in the year and it's the one hurting them now.
--- Yahoo! takes a look at the five Big East bubble teams, including UC.
--- Don't forget the 90s at 9 promotion is going on Wednesday night for the Providence game. French roll your jeans and bring your favorite 90s pop culture icon big heads. And, if you can pull off what UNLV did and get Flavor Flav in the student section, that would be even better.
Also, can we please get a Darnell Burton and LaZelle Durden Big Head? With all do respect to everyone else from those teams of the 90s, Burton and Durden were electric and could change a game faster than anyone else.
--- CBSSports put together a team comparison bubble machine. It's fantastic. Go ahead and
compare UC against other bubble teams. They are clearly on the inside looking out...for now.
--- I love the concept of a Back to the Future hover board being released...assuming it actually hovers.
--- The self-leveling pool table on this cruise ship makes me love technology even more.
--- Shark on shark crime!
--- Lieutenant Dan put the money in some kind of fruit company. He said we don't have to worry about money no more, which is good. One less thang.
--- Valentine's Day Candy Hearts to give to your favorite athletes.
--- Reminder again, 90s at 9 tomorrow. Getting back to the 90s jams, this song always makes me feel relaxed. Nobody can claim the lead singer from PM Dawn wasn't a fan of fashion accessories.