Examining the Schedule

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CINCINNATI -- Don't write of the Cincinnati Bearcats. Jamelle Elliott's squad won their fourth BIG EAST game on Saturday and while it may seem that the girls are still living at the bottom of the conference standings remember that there are still four regular season games left to be played.

UC has already played Notre Dame. Connecticut isn't on the remaining schedule; the Bearcats played them on Jan. 19. Louisville made it out of Fifth Third Arena with a win back in Dec. and games against Rutgers and Georgetown are no longer a topic of discussion in the locker room.

The moral of the story is that Cincinnati who currently sits a 4-8 in the conference has a chance to build on its recent momentum and make a real run at finishing anywhere but the bottom of one of the premier conferences in women's college basketball.

Let's take a look at the final four games for the Bearcats, two of which are at Fifth Third Arena. Next up on Feb. 18, the Bearcats travel to New Jersey for a match-up against the Seton Hall Pirates who are the BIG EAST's worst team at 0-15; 7-19 overall. Definitely a game they should win especially amidst the team's two-game winning streak.

On Feb. 21 the Marquette Eagles travel into Fifth Third Arena to attempt to avenge their loss to the Bearcats, which occurred on Feb. 1 in Milwaukee. It is always tough to defeat a team twice, but if the Bearcats use the game plan they did at the beginning of the month then a win is not out of the question.

Probably the toughest game remaining on the schedule, in my opinion, is against a team that just knocked off No. 2 Notre Dame. West Virginia comes to Cincinnati on Feb. 25 as this is the first of two games against the upper-echelon of the BIG EAST. With wins against Louisville and Notre Dame in their last two games it seems that the Mountaineers are playing well at the right time. This will be a very tough game for the cats, but remember West Virginia did lose to Providence, who Cincinnati beat five days ago.

DePaul is the other team that worries me as the Bearcats try to finish at 8-8 in the conference. The Blue Demons have been ranked for most of the season and are currently No. 22 in the polls. DePaul has a loss to Providence, but they also have wins against No. 14 Georgetown and No. 20 Louisville. This will be a road game so the Bearcats are an obvious underdog; they will need to be hitting on all cylinders in order to win.

This has been an up-and-down season to say the least. Although it is starting to get exciting at the right time and the Bearcats have a serious opportunity to build on Elliott's best season. Be sure to show up to Fifth Third arena and follow the women on GoBEARCATS.com.     

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