Bearcats Breakfast 2.21.12

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Plenty going on with the blog today. We've got a media availability with Mick Cronin and the players this afternoon, there's a story on the plight of Jamelle Elliott as she continues her record-breaking season tonight at home against Marquette, then later today I've got a very special guest for the podcast as we dive headfirst into UC's tournament resume.

As always, follow me on Twitter (@pauldehnerjr) to keep up with everything as it happens today. If you have any thoughts, concerns, questions, criticisms or cures for male pattern baldness, please send them to

Let's eat...

--- Indications are the Crosstown Shootout
will return next year, according to the exclusive report from Bill Koch at The Enquirer.

Koch spoke with President Gregg Williams, who delivered this quote:

"Every indication is that we are going to play next year. We're looking at it. (Xavier University president) Father Graham and I have talked about it a number of times."

Cronin spoke about it briefly on his radio show last night and said he thought Williams might have been put on the spot, but knew whatever the boss says he will go along with.

Much like the brawl which began this conversation everybody seems to own a strong opinion on the subject, so whatever is decided will probably be met with some criticism from a certain sect.

Personally, it would be a bigger indictment on both schools if they admitted they couldn't come up with a way to play a basketball game in a peaceful, respectful environment. There are so many ways to use the game to spin one final positive out of the negative, ignoring the issue and letting a great tradition die because they are unsure two teams can play a sport without fighting each other would be a bigger blemish than the brawl itself.

(kicks soapbox to the side) Moving on.

--- Buried in the Crosstown Shootout talk was a quote from Whit Babcock that should make the UC season ticket holders stand up and listen.

"We're looking to bring some more marquee opponents into Fifth Third (Arena). If Xavier was one of them, it would impact our schedule."

Of course, the non-conference schedule has been the talking point of so many season-ticket holders. There appears to be a concerted effort from Babcock to quiet those critics. As Cronin will say, that's easier said than done. Especially with West Virginia leaving next year and then losing Pitt and Syracuse the year after, beefing up the non-conference schedule will be a necessity to keep the overall schedule in the area it needs to be to impress the selection committee.

From what I've spoken about with Cronin and others about scheduling out of conference, I'd say Indiana and WVU (likely among many others) would be near the top of the list of teams that could be coming to Fifth Third Arena next season.

--- Dion Dixon was selected for the Big East Honor Roll yesterday. If you want to know why, you can read my postgame column from Saturday.

He averaged 13.5 points, six boards, three assists and 2.5 blocks last week.

--- The Bearcats and Cardinals
sit right next to each other at fifth and sixth in efficiency margins in Big East play, according to Rumble in the Garden. These two teams are as evenly matched as they come.

--- Shabazz Napier dropped a
30-foot bomb to keep UConn's Dance hopes alive. This comes days after throwing all his teammates under the bus after a loss to Marquette.

Most importantly, it elicited an "Onions!" call from Raf.

--- Jeff Borzello thinks Marquette could make a run to the Final Four. If UC could find a way to avenge the disaster in Milwaukee, it would be the final piece of their tournament puzzle.

--- Many pieces out there
about RPI, tournament bubbles and who belongs. I'm holding off on posting those since I'll have much more coming on the topic this week. Don't worry, I would never deny you people your media posturing and opining on tournament philosophy.

--- Keep checking back to the blog the rest of the day for more, now, not sure why, but feels like a Zeppelin morning.

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